September 28, 2012

Day 7: The Itchy and Scratchy Show

I told Matt he should have enjoyed the time when I was a little depressed, because now?  Now I am ON FIRE.  And a Ginger on fire is a scary thing to behold; imagine how much worse one is to live with.  Because it all must be done.  It must be done NOW.  And resting is for wusses.  Right?

I CAN'T HEAR YOU!


Etc. (former students are twitching now in remembrance, you can be sure.)

In my newfound zeal, I'm totally trashing my office.  I have the children slowly sifting through their desk debris (yeah, that needed to happen anyway!)  I'm trying to help them with a healthy keep/share with others/recycle/trash system, and a cycle of breaks and work times.  So far, so good. There is also the ever-present threat that if they don't deal with their own stuff, I will, and "I might not make the same choices you would." See Evil Ginger, above.

So, trashing the office: I've gotten really very much a lot better about not having dusty dead zones in the house, but the back of a storage closet is kind of hopeless.  In case I had forgotten about the dust allergy in all the sneezing and wheezing, I got to enjoy a nice case of contact dermatitis last night.  I was wearing long sleeves, so the marks on my wrists ended up looking like rope burns.  This makes for interesting conversations at the grocery store, just FYI.

Part of the reason I am on fire is the completely drug-free high of getting rid of stuff.  I continue to be amazed, humbled, and grateful for our age's social media opportunities--they really make parceling out your things easy.  Of course, I'm also grateful to the people who took the stuffs away.

Too much chaos here for pictures today. There will be more.

Don't nag, or Evil Ginger will get you.

September 27, 2012

Day 6: Too Busy to Think

or feel, either.  Everything is now in that lovely chaotic state of boxes, open and closed, little islands of stuff to give away (growing bigger all the time... apparently, they're volcanic islands!)  Hopefully we can wrangle some kind of order out of the madness this weekend.  And somewhere in there, we still eat and wear clothes and have to, you know, bathe.  Wheeeee.

So, a quick pic before I return to it all.  The house is built in such a way that there is a fairly large room on each level; upstairs, we use it as a playroom; on the main floor, it's the living room; in the basement, we sleep in it.  Here's another view of that last; see how tiny the bureau looks there, next to the closet? That's because it's far away (this is my cell phone's camera, no special effects!)

September 26, 2012

Day 5: Getting Better

So, as previously predicted, that little twit, Cindy Lou Who, is winning.  The small, mean, petty part of me wants to find an excuse to sit and have a Petty Pity Party, but CLW is not allowing it.  NO FAIR.  I am still going to have sad moments, or hours, or days, and I may just write about them.  But today was better.  Dangit.

As it turns out, there are some seriously fun things to do, where we're going, and odds are good we would never have gotten around to trying them out on our own if we weren't moving there.  From the moment Emily heard about this, she was completely in favor of the move.  In fact, she asked after the first interview, "Daddy, DID YOU GET THE JOB?"  Because: Eight acres of dinosaurs.  It's hard to stay sorry for oneself in the face of EIGHT ACRES of dinosaurs for Paleo7.  And it's not like it's a long ways away; it's right there in the town.  And that's just one fun thing of many.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:  All outside painting is done.  Hip, hip, hooray!  There's still plenty of other stuff to do, but it's nice to mark progress.  Also, now I don't mind if the rains start.

Today's picture is part of the now-completed basement.  This would be where I sleep!  It is quiet, calm, and the temperature has never gotten over 80 degrees (and that was on a 100+-degree day, with all the windows open.)  We have loved our basement, and think it's genius to sleep there.

Oh, and here is the other half of the utility area.  I told you it was big.

Day 4: Calculus

A celebratory dinner out, to congratulate Matt on the new, long-awaited job.  It's nice that someone else cooked for us, because we are all a little frazzled in spite of getting a bit more sleep last night.  There is rest in sight, but probably not in the next six weeks or so.  Em said she noticed that I do have to work a lot, and said, "Can you maybe ease off on all the Mama work you do, so we have more time to snuggle?"  I shamelessly took advantage of the request to remind her that I am always happy to have help with housework, and that I would use the extra time to spend with her.  We'll see what happens tomorrow.

As of tonight we have a much clearer picture of how the finances will work (though still no place to live.  I hear the streets are lovely there.... No, really, Matt has a flight booked next week to go scouting and put in rental application(s) as needed.  Don't worry, I'm not going all Stepford wife; he has a list of my requirements and a phone with a camera in it. :-) )  So, now we can get serious about what actual stuff we want to take, and we have an idea what we can and can't afford to replace.  Thus begins the delicate calculus of, is it worth it?  Do I love it?  Do I need it?  How long can I live without something like it, knowing that we might not be able to replace it right away?

In one way, I welcome this, since--starting approximately when the allergist's nurse said, "Wow, well, there's one spot that's really clear!  The doctor has to say it officially, but you are REALLY allergic to dust!"--I have become quite a bit more of a minimalist.  I like cozy, but clutter breeds dust.  And the more stuff we have, the more dusting must be done.  On the other hand, chucking our stuffs into the middle of a room is also not dust-free!  It's a delicate, dusty balancing act.  There is a certain soothing-ness to a streamlined space, too, as long as it has some color (!) to it.  And of course, I know that it is all just things. Things are not, so very not, what matter.

In another way, this is just irritating and picking at the giant Scab of Separation in my psyche.  I'm already (trying to) let go of a place.  Letting go of things as well... just adds to the burden.  And let's face it, I prefer to stay tightly wound.  If I let go too much, who knows what else I will let go of?  Being organized? Being strong?  Being someone who commits to things, and stays committed?  It's a dangerous slope.

In celebration of the (anticipated) clearing away, today's picture is of our lovely, refurbished laundry room.  Yes, that is an entire closet and two enormous cupboards,carefully painted in enamel and then shelf-papered by yours truly. As laundry areas go, this one does actually rock (if you framed in a door, you could have someone sleep there; this is only one half of the space.)  And the floor looks SO much better now that it's painted.  Worlds. The super-washer, however, is traveling with us.

September 25, 2012

Day 3: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

(Note: Yes, these posts are "tape-delayed"; Day 1 was actually Friday, but we needed some time to make sure certain people found out in person instead of second-hand.  I'm gradually catching up!).

I don't think this is going to work unless we can all get more sleep.  That is one of the myriad things I dislike about the whole moving process, though; it doesn't matter if it works.  It doesn't matter if you're ready.  Once you set the thing in motion, generally it just happens.  It can happen smoothly and calmly, or can be chaotic and fraught. 

I usually try not to fall asleep before Laura does, partly because it panics her if I do, and partly because I wonder what she's up to in my sleep, and therefore don't end up sleeping well.  Last night, in spite of us waking them at a reasonable hour that morning, she was up--well, awake--at one a.m.  And therefore, so was I.  While Matt and I have both been too wired to sleep these last two nights (in his case, I'm sure a great deal of it is happy anticipation--in my case, uh, other things), it's finally spilling over to the children.  I mention it because it's just, you know, a big ol' change for all of us.

I dove right in and packed up five boxes of dusty stuff from my sewing room last night.  One of the aforementioned painting projects was getting that room all fixed up, and it's lovely now. I would take a picture, but since we were full-speed-ahead with other things, once it was finished, I chucked all the stuff that belongs (belonged. Garg.) in that room, promised myself I would wash the dust out of it all and put it back neatly later, and went on.  So it's pretty much a disaster. On the up side (will that perky thing NEVER END??), it makes a dandy place to start, since I don't have time to wash all my stash anyhow.

Just so's you know, we are planning to drive one very large truck (not me), and tow the car behind it (Not Me) and drive the minivan (that would be me. Though I'm lobbying for one of the children to do it.)  As a result, and just because we're never going to afford a rental with six bedrooms (!!!) like we have here, there will be stuff we want to give away.  There will be a complicated matrix of rules and regulations regarding the giving away of stuff, comprised largely of who is in front of me at the time and who can take it away soonest.  I will keep you posted.

Without being completely maudlin about it, I'm taking pictures of things I either want to remember, or things I think would be handy to share in case you know someone who might want to buy the place.  This one is pure sentiment.  In addition to providing lots of free mulch for us and several of our neighbors, every single autumn, this is the view I will miss the most of all, right in my own backyard:


Our joke was, we bought a tree, with a house under it.  Looking back?  TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Day 2: We're Moving?

Now it's had just over 24 hours to sink in. And I realize, there is too much to do.  Happily, the job is incredibly understanding already about us needing time to leave here in good form, and get there in one piece.  Still, we have less than a month.

Under normal circumstances, I would say that's pretty reasonable for a two-states-away move for a two-parent, one-full-time-job family.  We have, however, in our folly, been painting alllll summer.  And are still not done.  And doing a few things besides painting. And some of the things, the projects and the painting, are RIGHT in the middle (I could be being optimistic; it's a failing of mine. So, they probably aren't even UP to the middle yet, some of them.)  Somehow I don't think leaving them like that is going to help the house sell.

Oh, hey, we're selling our house. Tell everyone you know.  It's really cute, or so we've been told, and is much larger than it looks from the outside, not unlike the Tardis.  (Really.  It's become a standing joke that when people have been given the 10 cent tour of the top and middle floors, and then we take them to the basement door, five of every six say, "There's more?") 

Back to our story: we have all these things to finish, or get to the middle of and THEN finish, plus packing, plus finding a new home, plus being all legal and official (drivers licenses! teaching licenses!  Maybe I should just go ahead and get a passport while I feel all paperworky?  This is another reason why moving those roots is scary: what if you're left with none at all?  I could end up in Fiji, or Ghana.  Monaco?), plus, you know, the Actual Move.  I'm overwhelmed.  I couldn't sleep until around 2:30 last night (my eyes refused to stay open, then, but the brain went right on buzzing for a while.) So many wonderful people have offered lots of ways to help (Bless you!!!), and I'm still sorting out how to say yes, and to what.  (Never fear: I'll get there!)

In my apparently unending ability to always see a bright side (am I the only one that annoys?  Because, really, it's like living with Cindy Lou Who, here.  It's so perky.  Perky is not me.  But the silver lining keeps showing up.  Wha??? Anyway.), I have been in touch with some lovely people in and near Ogden, and am feeling a little better about the transplant site.

I still worry about the state of the roots by the time they get there, though.  Drastic gardening measures may be called for.

September 24, 2012

Day 1: We're Moving Where?

So, I don't want to move.  I never want to move.  I moved as a child.  I mean, I wasn't a "military brat," but I had to move a few times, and then as a teenager, even more times.  Some of them were traumatic.  None of them were fun.  Unsurprisingly, moving as an adult (while more in my control) was also really not that much fun; I have an ordered mind if not an ordered desk, and violently dislike upheavals. So when we moved to this house, we said, "We want our next move to be into the retirement home."  And we meant it!  Unfortunately, we followed it with, "Well, unless we need to move for a job or something."

It's the qualifiers that get you in life. Every time.

As it turns out, Matt has FINALLY landed the job that he wants as a union consultant.  He's put in thousands of hours of training and learning and internship and volunteering, over and above the time he's spent as a union officer and representative.  He started the process of looking for this job at least two and a half years ago, and it's fabulous that he has, at last, an opportunity to do that job.  He'll be great at it (being in charge of negotiations/arguments and then smoothing the waters so people can work together again after it's over? As the family joke goes, HE'S AN IRISH LIBRA.  He was MADE for this work.)

So it's all happiness and fuzzies that he has the job.  Yay!

It's in Utah.

What?  Where?

Ogden, Utah.  It's not the ends of the earth, or anything.  It's just a long way away from anything we four--native Oregonians, one and all. Even the cat is from Oregon.  That's five.--have ever known.  Okay, Matt's been to Salt Lake City (and now Ogden, for his interview! Hah.)  But none of us has spent much time on the dry side of Oregon, even, and the children have not even ever BEEN on the other side of the Cascades.

So it's a change.

Change is scary.

I am terrified.

When you're a foster child, you are a little rootless.  It's hard to know, when you leave, if you can come back.  Can you come back to visit? Sure, okay, things ended all nice. Can you come back to live there, though, if you needed to, like everyone with regular parents can?  Unknown.  (Now I know, and I'm pretty sure I could have if I had needed to. But I wasn't sure then, and that's what leaves the marks.)  So, moving to the house we're in now meant roots.  My name was on all the paperwork--this is MY house, in more ways than just where my mail shows up.  That's a lovely strong taproot, and it's had eleven years to grow deep and drink up the permanence.  Transplanting is always tricky with such roots, and requires infinite care to prevent damage.

On the other hand: the children are excited.  I explained how Utah has the highest birthrate in the nation, and there are, therefore, a) a ton of kids there (ample friending opportunities await) and b) really a lot of kid-oriented fun things to do there.  Even the ordinarily-grumpy child is looking forward to this. They'll miss the friends they have here, but perhaps the recent near-miss moves (Matt has had two other interviews, in two other states, lately) have helped them come to terms with that.  (Penpals, anyone?)

And of course, Matt is excited and will be even more happy when we are done moving, which he also hates.

Here we go.