July 23, 2008

We're Here

Well, we're here. The trip was nice, in that it was an easy drive, and no cars died. The move was fairly awful - the truck loaders in Michigan never bothered to show up, and the unloaders in Virginia might as well not have showed up, making the move much more of a do-it-yourself thing than it was meant to be. Verizon took a full 17 days to get our phone and internet connection correct (though they did make sure to bill me promptly).

But we're here. The house is nice. The neighborhood is nice; it's one of those older neighborhoods, where neighbors greet you and kids actually play with each other up and down the street.

I'm guessing that you can grow anything in Virginia. I've got a little garden patch out back, in which tomatoes are growing of their own accord. Impatiens keep popping up throughout the lawn. And there's a huge patch of uncontained spearmint (tended by bees as big as cows). This makes me happy. Anyone who plops mint into their yard is not going to be overly concerned about my freeform gardening methods.

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May 29, 2008

Third Time's The Charm

I've said it before. Twice. This time, I waited until the job actually started, and papers have been signed. I think.

Are you ready? We are moving. To Virginia.

Virginia, this is your last chance, do you hear? If it doesn't work this time, I'm giving up.

We like Michigan. We really do. However, the whole lack of a job bit gets old. Ironically, when Jeff applied for this job, it was in Texas - not only Texas, but just up the street from where we used to live. But that turned out to be incorrect, and the job is really in Virginia. Where we kept trying to move to, and failing. Go figure. I guess the trick was to not try to move to Virginia? (By the say, I'm also not trying to move to London.)

This will be the first place we've lived where, as homeschoolers, we will have to report to the government.

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August 30, 2006

We're Not in Texas Anymore

The temperature is beautiful here. Today's high will be 73. 73!! in August!

However, the humidity has been above 70% for at least a week.

I hope this is seasonal ... and when fall rolls in the humidity will drop? Please?

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April 29, 2006

Hmmm ... so if I want to take 24 ...

that would be ... which road, again?

Scroll around on the map a little.

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April 26, 2006


In an effort to learn to drive more in the area, today I did grocery shopping in Auburn Hills instead of in Waterford. Oooh! The heights of daring!

Actually, I'm figuring the area out pretty well. It seems to be only in Waterford and Pontiac that the streets get terribly bizarre. Plus, people in Michigan seem to understand what a turn signal means, and are not threatened by it, as Texans are.

I tried to find Whole Foods on a whim. I knew the street it was on, and the general area. I drove and drove and drove and drove and then gave up. When I came home and Googled the location, I had turned around half a block short of the store. Ha!

The boys have had a Cub Scout pack meeting, and I understand that this is the last I will see of them and of my husband all summer. They camp a great deal here.

Our Brock Magiscope came in, and I am impressed. It's sturdy. My kids will not be able to break this thing. And if they do, it has an unlimited, unconditional guarantee! We can take this thing outside. It has one moving part. It's good, it works, and they can't break it! It's worth every penny.

For those of you who are impressed that we're back to school already, know this: School keeps me sane. Yes, it does. Do you think I do this homeschool stuff for my kids? Okay, yes, I do do it for my kids, but I do this equally for myself. This is so much better, and cooler, and more fun than ... well, than not doing it. I'd far rather have school with my kids than clean, or unpack, or do chores, or any of that other crap I'd feel I ought to be doing if it weren't for school. But no! My children's education is the top priority! Thank goodness!

Not only that, but I've got to force something into my darling 10-year-old's mind other than Starfleet Battles, if only to give him something else to talk about.

On a totally different note, we heard more from the mechanic in Illinois who has our car. He opened up the engine to get a better look, and found that the crankshaft was broken. Yes, the crankshaft broke. And the oil pump was twisted up. There were all kinds of things in the oil pan.

He called it a suicide. I think he's right. For whatever reason, my car made up its mind that it was not going to Michigan. Poor car.

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April 18, 2006


Wheels that work.

I hate car shopping, so we more or less walked into the nearest Toyota dealer and announced that we wanted a used Sienna, and our payment terms. Drove one home nearly 4 hours later. Done.

Today was our first "normal" day, with Jeff at the office. I moved enough boxes out of my office to set up the school table. I paid bills. The kids played in the basement, and the "back yard." I'm still in that exhausted phase of being sick, so that pretty much wiped me out.

I recovered enough to walk them all to the tot lot at the end of the neighborhood. That's an interesting place, yes it is. It's a decent little playground, but it's surrounded by swamp. Real, honest-to-goodness swamp. With snakes. I saw them. There's also a bit of foresty area, punctuated here and there by old barbed wire fencing, and rusting metal barrels. Ooh, good fun here, kids! What were these people smoking when they decided where to put the playground? I could suck it up and call it a "wetland area" if it weren't for the freaking rusted metal everywhere. Tetanus Tot Lot, maybe.

Tell me y'all don't have a big mosquito problem in Michigan.

Tomorrow we're going to venture out to a park to meet actual people.

I hope to get the boys back in school starting next week. We do plan to have school throughout the summer. I like to keep things going year-round anyway, so that we can take off whenever we like without guilt. The boys are ... thrilled. Heh.

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April 13, 2006

We are Here

We got here very late Monday night/very early Tuesday morning, however you choose to look at it. What is it now, Thursday? Thursday.

We're lost under a catastrophe of boxes, and I am still sick. This morning I got myself out of bed, found a doctor and figured out how to drive myself there to beg for drugs. You know it's bad when I'm willing to beg for drugs. I keep thinking, though, that Michigan might look more appealing if I could stop associating it with constant head-splitting pain.

Driving here is insane. Truly, insane. The streets are all twisty and never go where you think they will. Everyone drives too fast on the twisty streets. Sometimes you turn left at a flashing red light instead of a green light ... but sometimes you don't. Sometimes in order to turn left, you stay in the right-hand land and turn right, instead. Maybe they got bored with that same old way of driving, and decided to mix things up?

But anyway, we're here. GM has a four-day weekend, so I guess we'll have some time to find a new car. You're right, E ... for us, this was Holy Shit week ;-)

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April 8, 2006

Do you want to know? Do you? Do you really?

Go ahead, guess.

Guess where we are.

Did you guess Michigan? You were wrong.

It's hard to get to Michigan when your car's engine has seized.

Bye-bye car.

Maybe Staunton, IL needs a good network architect. What do you think?

Or maybe GM could give us a car. They have a bunch. They wouldn't miss one.

We have a hotel. We have food. We have internet access. We're fine. Really. We're teaching our kids to roll with the punches and laugh through everything. But I really would prefer it if the gods just gave us flaming handwriting on the wall, or something more concrete. We're a little dense. And it's a little late to stop this move-which-offends-the-deities, so maybe they could let us know how many Hail Athenas, or whatever .... And don't think that because we're not Christian we don't accept prayers for us. Pray, people. And ... send a car.

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April 7, 2006

Moving Day

Yep, today. Today we move.

Let me run down the last week for you.

Saturday, we took the boy to see the Alamo. Good. Sunday we spent in Austin. Also good.

Monday, Griffin was sick all the way home. Bad.

At home Monday night, I got sick with a doozy of a virus. Oh, bad. Stayed in bed most of Tuesday, instead of, say, finishing the packing or cleaning the house.

Tuesday night Aidan developed strange spots on his legs. Wednesday the doctor diagnosed him with a form of purpura which, while not dangerous, will leave him with painful, swelling legs for days, perhaps a couple of weeks. Oh, not good at all.

Also on Wednesday, Connor got my virus and spent a large part of the day in bed. So did Aidan. ("Bed" at this point means a mattress on the floor, as everything else in the house was gone.) Scrap plans to move on Thursday.

Thursday Lachlan decided to drop a rock on Griffin's finger. Spent afternoon in ER waiting for x-rays to determine that finger is not broken. Oh, brother.

Thursday night Lachlan christened Home Depot with his onset of Griffin's earlier stomach virus.

It's Friday morning. Can we go now???

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March 31, 2006

I suppose it's a bad thing ...

When, years later, you find your Flylady cling in the muck under your refrigerator.

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March 24, 2006


I've been remarkably calm about this whole moving thing. Have you noticed? Remarkably calm.

The calm is fading. Stress level is rising. And rising.

We leave in less than two weeks, folks. Two weeks, and I can't finagle all the playdates my kids want. Two weeks, and I don't know how to help them transition away from their friends (and why do I feel the need to? I don't remember my parents worrying about how or whether or not I said good-bye).

Almost everything is packed. Half the furniture is actually in the garage. The furniture and the lion's share of the boxes leave in a week. We leave a few days after that.

The house is not yet on the market, for various and frustrating reasons. No, it's not even ready to be put on the market yet.

And oh, by the way, we do have hail damage to our roof, even though a roofer told us we did not after the last hail storm. So now we may have to replace the roof before selling. And our move date is in less than two weeks. Did I mention that? And the washing machine broke today.


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March 5, 2006

Still at it

Sorry, folks. We're still packing, and trying to fix up the house, and packing ... I think we're up to 150 boxes. Now we get to start repair work. Woo-hoo!

At this point, I'd give the house to anyone who could assume the loan. Want a house? It needs new paint, new carpets, new landscaping and a new shower wall, but it's in a fantastic location. Walk to the park and the rec center, and possibly the future library. We can give you the scoop on which neighbors are the good ones. House comes with a huge rosemary bush, an even bigger blackberry bush, and a healthy bunch of strawberries, thyme and lemon balm. Come on, couldn't you use a new house?

We do have a rental settled on and approved. It's the nicest house we looked at, on the worst land. It's on a postage stamp in a suburb. Ah, well. I am looking forward to having a basement, though.

I still haven't told everyone that we're moving. Nothing like a little denial, is there?

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February 19, 2006

And the Packing Rolls On

I just packed the 59th box.

It's sad and scary to see how much stuff we still have in the house, although 59 boxes have been packed.

And ... may I just say it? I'd like to stop now. I don't want to make this move.

Of course, if we were to stay here, I wouldn't want there to be any tornadoes, or to be hot in the summer. I'm out of luck either way. (Or as we say, "Either way is bad for Zathras.")

But I don't want to go.

School has come to a screeching halt. Before we leave I want to get pictures made at our local park, take all the kids in for well-child visits, visit my midwife, and take the kids to both Houston and San Antonio. Do you think we can manage all that in five weeks or so? While packing? And with Jeff leaving town every time we turn around? (Because, you know, the job is THERE.) And with kids getting sick every time we turn around?

Yes, I'm whining.

I've packed 15 boxes of books, with more to come. This is both heartening and irritating.

The good news is that I've found all the library books we've lost over the years. I turned them in and they gave me a credit. A credit! A credit at the library!

Did I mention that we still don't have a house up there?

I'll stop whining now. Instead, I'll leave you with a tidbit of Texas history. It turns out that my kids are related to this woman. So, running the state is in their blood eh? Along with accepting bribes of land and money. Hmmm. We could work with this, don't you think?

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