Happy Halloween!

I bought pumpkins for the new house!

So festive. :-) This picture is actually a little bit amusing, as it was taken after realizing that we had to move the pumpkins left about a foot and a half. The garage door kicks out when it opens, and so the first time we went to hit the switch post-pumpkin-purchase, it neatly booted the backs of the things and sent them rolling down the driveway. Oops!! (I’m sure we could make some sort of great suburban sport out of that if we tried… driveway pumpkin bowling, anyone?) They’ve been relocated out of the line of fire and don’t seem any the worse for wear.

We’re almost, almost done moving the apartment – just some last fish tank things and cleaning supplies remain. I had to document the nth trip, since my car has earned countless points for usefulness in the last few weeks. It’s 3.1 miles from apartment to house, and I think I’ve done just under 20 loads in that time. Not too bad, especially since that meant we could just reuse all of the packing supplies that we kept from the wedding and unpack in between trips.

The best part of all these trips has to be the sunsets – the mountains have been out a surprising number of the days. I took a slight detour to see the prettiness from the 405 pedestrian overpass.

Too lovely.

Week Eight

Yeah! A win! (75-68) This was a bye week for a lot of my players, but I was so impressed with Brees (who thought I’d ever say THAT?!) and the Patriots defense for floating things along. I picked up yet another new tight end off of waivers, who did well by scoring a point — not super, but no real complaints. LT was a little slow, as was Stallworth, but I was so pleased to see Reggie Brown have a good game, even if he was sitting on the bench. (And the Eagles won — nice!)

QB
QB Drew Brees, NO 30
RUNNING BACKS
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD 9
RECEIVERS
WR Marty Booker, Mia 1
WR Donte’ Stallworth, NE 4
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 2
TE Matt Schobel, Phi 1
DEFENSE
D/ST Patriots 18
KICKER
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE 10
BENCH
QB Damon Huard, KC (BYE) 0
QB Jason Campbell, Was 0
RB Marion Barber, Dal (BYE) 0
RB Michael Pittman, TB 0
WR Deion Branch, Sea (BYE) 0
WR Reggie Brown, Phi 11
TE Alex Smith, TB 0
K Matt Stover, Bal (BYE) 0

For visual interest, here are the five enormous trees in our backyard:

…and the even huger ones in the side yard.

Our town has rules about how many trees you can cut down, but since we have a largish lot, we get to take down up to eight a year. All of them have to be replaced with smaller trees (unless we want to pay a fee to the town). Get rid of the monster dark pines and gain some fruit trees? Or some small maples? Anyone have small, hardy tree varieties that they can recommend for the pacific northwest?

Temp housing for the dudes

The move on Saturday went extremely quickly, thanks in no small part to help from our Boston friends Shawn and Sanna, and their puppy William Wallace. :-)

I was so grateful not to be the one trying to heft mattresses and couches and the TV. Not only is it so nice to have all of the furniture moved (the house has finally stopped echoing!), but they were such great company. In all, we only spent about two trips and 4 hours of loading, driving and unloading the UHaul. The boys stopped in the middle to go play football, and then we all went out to watch game three of the series in the evening.

Even the weather cooperated.

Blue skies and perfect temps after a week of drizzly cold.

I’ll post house-with-furniture pictures once we’re a little bit more organized. :-)

The fishtank move on Sunday was a bit more of a challenge. By mid-afternoon, we’d moved all of the dudes into temporary homes, with lights, current, heat, filtration and circulation. We brought about 60 gallons of water over from the apartment to lessen the transition. (Between our wonderful friends, we were able to borrow 7 carbuoys — the huge glass jugs used for brewing beer — which made the water transport in the car MUCH easier, if still pretty heavy.)

Here are the clowns hanging out in a tupperware on the counter:

And reunited with the PVC in their new temporary digs:

The clowns *really* didn’t like my attempts to catch them with the net for transport, but once they were both together in the quarantine tank and were able to hide in the PVC for a breather, they calmed down quite quickly, and even ate dinner.

Here’s our green tub of rocks and corals, all lit up:

It looks quite sensational with the blue lights in that green tub. Here’s a slightly less glowing photo, taken before we put the skimmer in. (You can use the futon for scale — it’s a pretty big tub.)

The corals are out and look pretty happy, which is a relief.

We’ve now moved just about all of the equipment. I hit the point of total exhaustion around 8:30 pm, when the water was out of both tanks, but we still have about 40 pounds of sand. I’ll finish getting that out tonight, and then we can wash the tanks, and transport them and the stand tomorrow. So, we aren’t done, but it’s progress!

A soothing mountain shot

Nothing exciting on the house front (just lots of trips to move books and canned goods — heavy! — plus some spackling, which doesn’t make for showy photos), and so here are the mountains from the top of the street.

I’ve been trying so hard to not think about how much I’ll miss the apartment — I’m so bad at transitions, and while I love the new house it’s not home yet. (It’s probably bad timing with the move and the Series, but now I’m also having dreams about leaving the Boston apartment. Sad.) The new house is still mostly checklists and echoing spaces. Furniture and rugs will help a lot (and I can see myself doing all my favourite things in the right places: eating, cooking, curling up to read, quilting and NPR, TV and knitting…) and I’m looking forward to the first night that we actually sleep there (Saturday), but it’s still alien and the (increasingly empty) apartment is the comforting place to retreat to at the end of the evening to eat dinner and watch the Red Sox.

We’ve made a lot of progress on the appliances and services front. After many phone calls, Sears WILL give us our refrigerator (yay!!) on the 31st — a week later than hoped, but we can ferry the frozen fish food back from the apartment for the last 3 days of October, and things will be cold soon enough that we can transfer food instead of tossing it or trying to take over unsuspecting eastside friends’ refrigerators… Lowes is dropping our new washer and dryer off the same day. Verizon installs our DSL on Wednesday, too, and I have appointments for the plumber and installation people to give estimates, the furnace people to come do furnace maintenance, and the chimney people to come clean the two chimneys. (Sounds like I’ll be taking a vacation day…)

And thanks for all of the encouraging moving emails and comments — they’ve helped so much. :-) It’s nice to have such a group of people well-wishing us along. :-)

Thank goodness we kept those textbooks

When I got to the house last night, I found Kevin in the laundry room, putting the final touches on this impressive structure.

We’ve been a bit flummoxed by how to remove the laundry cabinet. It’s incredibly solid (read: heavy), and it looks like they must have taken the door frames off the two doors to get it into position, since it’s wider than the space between them. Since we did NOT want to remove the door frames, and there wasn’t enough room to rotate it, the only option was to cut it up. It wasn’t attached to the wall directly – it rested on a bunch of boards nailed to the back and sides of the room. However, with that weight pressing down on the boards, we couldn’t get purchase to pry them out of the wall. So, the final remaining option was just to cut the thing in pieces way up in the air and them remove the cabinet in bits. I’d proposed using jacks to keep those big cabinet pieces from crashing down – Kevin apparently improvised with crutches, old computer science theory textbooks, and dead xboxes that he brought home from work.

Dorky, but it did the trick! Here’s Kevin hammering and spackling an hour later.

The new washer and dryer arrive in a week, so the paint, new floor, and cabinets should be up by then. Busy, but exciting!!

Less glamourous but still cool: we have a light in the garage now! Kevin went and bought a new florescent bulb and it’s such a huge improvement, especially since it seems to be getting darker a good 10 minutes earlier each day.

I’m finally at the point where the kitchen is starting to feel in hand. Everything’s been scrubbed, I’ve added shelf paper to all of the deep base cabinets (a major improvement!), and I finally went around today and figured out where everything should go. Some of the things aren’t quite as logical as I’d like, but since some of the slide-out drawers are in much better shape than others, I tried to make sure that things we use daily are in the less-finicky drawers.

The first (small) load of kitchen things has already been put away. I stayed up last night packing the kitchen in the apartment (made it about 2/3 of the way through – not too bad given how much pantry-type food we seem to have), so it’s getting a lot closer. We still don’t have a delivery date for the new fridge, though, so it’s making me sad to pack our cooking things when the new kitchen isn’t really ready yet. I can’t believe it’s only 4 more days until we move into the new place for good!

Week Seven

Oops, not the best fantasy week. It didn’t look promising from the outset, since it’s LT’s bye week, and I have a bench full of hurt players (Deion Branch, Alex Smith, Michael Pittman). I picked up a new tight end and threw in Marty Booker to play a full lineup, but lost 64-72. Bummer. The opposing team tried their worst – they regularly break 100 – and the opposing quarterback even threw in a -8 point performance, but it just wasn’t enough. If I’d swapped kickers and played Brown instead of Booker, I could have tied, and then won (ties go to the team with the most QB points, as I learned the hard way in Week 3), but that’s totally hindsight.

QB
QB Drew Brees, NO 14
RUNNING BACKS
RB Marion Barber, Dal 15
WR Marty Booker, Mia 2
RECEIVERS
WR Donte’ Stallworth, NE 11
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 13
TE Quinn Sypniewski 1
DEFENSE
D/ST Patriots 6
KICKER
K Matt Stover, Bal 2
BENCH
QB Damon Huard, KC 3
QB Jason Campbell, Was 0
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD (BYE) 0
RB Michael Pittman, TB 0
WR Deion Branch, Sea 0
WR Reggie Brown, Phi 5
TE Alex Smith, TB 0
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE 7

For visual interest, here are pictures of the mountains as I left for work this morning!

Those pretty, clear blue skies are NOT the October norm. I’m more happy than usual to get views of the Olympics in the morning (which is saying something) now that we’re down to those last few days.

And, leaving work at 5:30, Rainier was glowing out over the foothills.

(I had a photo without the garage foreground, but I actually like this one better. That mountain is amazing because it totally overwhelms the rest of the landscape – it just draws the eye.)

On to the World Series!!

We just spent the last few hours watching the Red Sox earn their way into the world series!! What an awesome game, and how much fun for the next week!! I’ve been hit all evening with such strong nostalgia for my Boston apartment (it was just blocks from Fenway – quite the middle of things), and for who/where we were in 2004 during the last series when we’d just barely transplanted ourselves out to Seattle.

I’m sure that the new state of the living room wasn’t helping things:

I’m reveling in the emptiness, especially compared to the state of things circa Thursday. (I’m reposting the picture, just so that you can get the full effect. Wow, right?)

That said, it feels SO cyclical and like when we first moved in that I’m having sympathetic pangs for myself during that stage of life.

We spent the early afternoon getting the kayaks on the car for their voyage to the new home. The racks went on very quickly compared to last time, but we got a bit bogged down in finding all of the screws and straps for the attachments.

The exciting news is that we have a garage (it just doesn’t lose its magic when I repeat that phrase! Such possibility and freedom!)and so now I can (1) take the racks off my car so that they don’t whistle when I drive, and (2) we can store the racks with the attachments screwed on!! That’ll save us a good 25 minutes of screwing bolts every time we want to take the boats out – I’m psyched. Just put the racks on (5 min), lock them (1 min), boats on (8 min), and tie down (5 min, depending on organization level). Pretty cool!! And I can’t say how happy I am that this was the last time navigating the boats around the fish tank, over the front porch railing, and down to street level. I won’t miss that.

In new house news, we have carpet samples for the family room!!

We’d both liked this carpet on day one, when we were exhausted and overwhelmed, but when we went through all of the samples it was still our favourite. The color is a little tricky, since we want something light, and it needs to work with the couches-to-be and the fireplace. I like all of the samples together, so it’s hard to break out my favourite based on 1”x2” bits. We’ll see?

We’re still debating the washer/dryer issue. We’re pretty sold on the front loader style, but most of those are a bit deeper that the space available in the laundry room. :-( Our leading option (the Whirlpool Duet HT 9400 and matching dryer) is a good 2” too deep to fit. Very disappointing. I think we may end up with LG’s WM2455 washer and the dryer set, since it fits our max depth of 29¾” plus 4 inches of clearance in the back. Any opinions?

Finally (it was a busy day), we found a bed frame!! We’ve been looking for ages since it’s our wedding gift from Kevin’s parents, and the options kept just not being quite right. We both like sleigh styles (though not those where the footboard is too tall, and not the ones that are huge compared to the mattress), and I have an abiding fondness for the slats in mission designs. This bed combines both – I think it’s beautiful. There are surprisingly few pictures online, and most of them are dreadful. We’ll probably just have to post photos once it’s delivered.