Saturday, August 25, 2007

Poll: The Dining Room

We have a small dining room (8x11 or so). We don't want a formal (unused) dining space. It is attached to the kitchen and the first room (on the left) you see coming into the house. We'd like to figure some use for the kids, but we don't want a bunch of kids toys and junk littering the entrance. Any suggestions?

Moving Part 7: War of Attrition

My post-move, unpacking strategy has been basically to clear out one room at a time, moving things dropped there for convenience sake into another room. This has some advantages.
1. Tangible signs of success. You can tell when the room is free and clean.
2. Availability of the room for use. We did the bedrooms and baths first, kitchen and living next. Playroom, offices next. Today, the "dining room" (future use unknown). Last will be the garage.

It also has a small disadvantage, as things get pushed from one room to the next then tend to accumulate. These are things that we don't have immediate use for, or obvious place to put, so they are harder to dispose of. It isn't simply a matter of unpacking.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Moving Part 6 - Closure

We closed on the new house ten days before the old one. Our plan was a good one. We could complete any prep needed on the new house (not much), move in the PODS (mostly to storage), and be all set to move the much needed stuff after that, saving our beds for last.
Well.. the best laid plans.
We decided the carpets needed cleaning, so we did that first.
We ended up moving the PODS first, mostly into the garage, but also it held furniture and toys that we needed to entertain the kids.
Then we arranged for our things from the old house to be moved, a few days later.
School was starting and we wanted in before it was too crazy.
So all of our stuff was there, which made painting and such more difficult, since we were using the spaces. But Carly managed (with minutes shaved from kids naps) to paint their bathroom a cheerful seascape scene. The kitchen was laid out according to a trial and error system of utility, and we were roughly settled but living from boxes.
Getting all the stuff out of the old house was the most difficult part.
It was hot, and miserable, and we have a ton of stuff, even after the purges.
But we eventually got it all out. And the place restored to relative "pristinity". (Trademark Scholz 2007).
Now that I am not chained to the old house, I can be of more use at the new one.
Today Carly should be installed the new Airport (which died en route) and we should have regular internets again. We missed it so.


Moving Part 5. The Agony and the Ecstasy

I was just about settled on the last house we looked at when it was suggested we expand our search a little, especially to include one that would not need extensive renovations. But I loved that house, for all its imperfections. Still, I was a reasonable person, so I agreed to at least look at some others. We found one, just down the street from some friends who moved away from our 'old' neighborhood. It was bigger, and nicer, it was somewhat more conventional than my eclectic fixer-upper, but it didn't need anything immediately changed. And after all the work that looked really good.
So... we made an offer.
It was a moment of resolve, and tense calm. (If that makes sense) We committed to a house. We were 'all in.'

Only to find out that the day before they had accepted another offer. We were crushed and saddened to lose the first house we no reservations about. We hadn't really thought about finding a place before our vacation anyway, but we were excited about being done early.
Our agent suggested we make an offer anyway, just in case the first one fell through.
We did and half heartedly looked at other houses for the next day or two. We didn't find anything half as nice, and my old love seemed paler in the new light of the house we couldn't quite get. We resigned ourselves to selling our house at the end of August with less than three weeks to find a new one.

Then in the evening before our trip to California the agent called. Because our offer had no contingencies (we didn't make our buying the house contingent on selling our own by any specific date) the previous offer which had contingencies had to either remove theirs or retract the offer. They chose to retract the offer, and the house was ours!


A brief history of moving

Now that the deals are done, the closings successful. Here is the story. I am not sure whether this will make much sense, or if Blogger will cooperate. If not I will try to adjust it.
In order:
Moving Part 1
Slave to the Phone
House Hunting
agony and ecstasy


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

midway through the move

Closed Monday. Unloaded PODS that afternoon.
Unpacked a dozen boxes, assembled two beds, and started sorting things Tuesday.
Packing, packing, packing to get ready for movers today.

More details on the (local) move forthcoming.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dr. Chicken Jones 1991 - 2007

Chicken had been ill for about a year and a half. We had him on steroids for most of that time, and he'd been steadily losing weight and energy. His organs were finally giving out, he'd couldn't jump on the couch or eat much without throwing up and he was down to five pounds when we had the vet put him down.
He has been a wonderful, affectionate, and tolerant (of the children) friend and companion. He's traveled from San Francisco to Albuquerque to Raleigh and always adjusted quickly to his new home (though he did get himself trapped in the woodwork of our downtown apartment.)

I remember Chicken and Morpheus (who also passed this year) chasing each other in our SF apartment sounding like camels charging from one side of our place to the other, little Chicken doing aerial somersaults in pursuit of the elusive shoelace. He'd wear himself out chasing things and performing for us and end up panting for air.

I recall combing fleas out of his fur for hours, which was good practice for nail clipping and other chores he'd soon need to endure stoically. As a young cat he was willing to fight for a corn cob or steal a bit of food from your fork en route to your mouth. He'd probably grab it out of your mouth if your took too long to chew.

Chicken was, on occasion, pretty smart. For example he quickly figured out the trick of the laser pointer, he'd chase the dot for a bit and then follow the line of light back to the source and stare into the beam (that pretty much ended that toy). The latter part wasn't too smart, but I think cat's can be forgiven ignorance of lasers. He enjoyed a good chase, and would in his younger days drag toys from all around the house to us to play with him (including some pretty big ones).

He usually took a while to warm up to people, but once he did, he was very affectionate. This didn't apply to people feeding him in our absence, to whom he immediately cozied up. We'd always caution people feeding him that they might not see him while they were here. But, they'd always respond upon our return that he immediately came out, gave them head butts, and sat in the laps for as long as they'd stay.

From the beginning he was very tolerant of the kids, if not over loving of them. He eventually came around and would give them head butts. He had two long term cat friends and roomies, Morpheus and Spooky (that latter was given away for fear he would roll over and smother infant Sophie). His primary nemeses were autumn leaves caught in the wind and swirling around our back door. He'd whine and claw at the glass in frustration.
People would always wonder at his name. The way I remember the story (16 years old) is that Alexis B, Amanda and I went to the SPCA in San Francisco to get a cat (against my wishes). Amanda picked out the saddest, shiest cat in the place. His name tag said 'Ariel.' We decided the name didn't really fit him so went about trying to pick a new one. I wanted a Shakespearean or Greek name: Horatio, Orestes, something like that. Alexis wanted old lady names: Agatha, Mildred, etc.. (Chicken was a male kitty). Amanda wanted to wait and decide later. After much argument, Alexis admitted that it didn't really matter what we named him, since she called all small animals "Little Chicken." I can attest, having watched a few nature shows with Alexis, she would call all the small animals Little Chicken. So we decided that we'd save him the confusion and just name him chicken. The name fit for the first few years of his life, as he was pretty skittish. Since naming our little guy Chicken, I've heard it used several other times (c.f. Bitchy Bitch's cat).
Pretty much anyone who spent much time with Chicken loved him. I was looking into kenneling options this summer, and the woman at the counter of the Pet Hotel heard his name, and remembered him from a year and a half go. "I love him!" She exclaimed. That was the kind of impression Chicken left.

I wish cats were immortal, but they aren't. Chicken had what seemed like a good life and was surrounded by people who love him.

He will be missed.