April what, like, the 4th or something, I think
At last. It seems like forever since I was able to get a good purging through my journal. When was the last entry? Probably last Saturday or maybe Sunday. It would take too long to look it up (dial up).
This is quite literally the first time I've had an opportunity to write anything since this whole moving experience began. I packed my first box on Sunday and that began the process. Little did I know that I would STILL be dragging stuff from that house a week later. Eric has gone now for what will hopefully be the last load. A friend of ours with a truck is helping him to pick up some things that were too big for the car and ended up not fitting in the big truck. He's also doing the clean on the old house (bless'im) and I'm here unpacking more (well, actually, I'm not... actually, I'm writing to you instead, which I'm certain will go over well upon his return.
We packed all day Sunday and into Monday, the major difference being that on Monday, there was the truck that was being loaded at the same time. Our friends, Dena and Craig, came over to help out, as well as my son David (who was there for THREE DAYS) and there is no possible way we could have done it without them. David really proved himself. He's a fairly slim built guy (wiry) and I was worried about how he'd do, but he held his own magnificently and was such a blessing to Eric and to us.
I have been in constant motion since last Sunday and I am utterly exhausted. I yearn for the day when this is all done, when the clothes are in the dressers and closets, when I can find what I'm looking for without digging through 14 boxes and ending up just not finding it and when I can look peacefully around my house and feel like it's complete. I hope that is the case within the next week.
So should I talk about the good stuff or the bad stuff first?
I think I'll go with the bad stuff just to get it out of the way so I can go on and on about the good stuff. Of course, I'll find more good stuff once I'm not so wiped out and sore and fried from the chaos. I don't thrive at all in chaos and this move has been almost nothing but chaos and remains so still. It makes me feel edgy and bitchy and as though I can't catch my breath. I finally, this morning, found my Remifemin, which I stupidly forgot to slip into my purse and it was consumed by the moving monster, which, of course, on regurgitates whatever it wants whenever it feels like it. I hope the hot flashes stop after a few dosages. I'd forgotten what killers they are. I found a half package of white chocolate chips and fell upon them like a woman possessed (OK, I ate maybe a quarter cup of them, "woman possessed" isn't what it used to be for me) and now my blood sugar is all out of whack after being low carb for so long. That was my first candy in months.
Starting Monday night, we've slept at the new place and the kids and I have spent the bulk of our time here. Our eating is all out of whack, which is another reason for the hot flashes and such. By the grace of the Goddess, I will never eat badly again. It's just not worth how rotten it makes me feel.
Not that there's that much of an option, which brings us to our list of bad stuff about the new place, which isn't really bad as much as lifestyle change.
First, the kitchen is the size of a postage stamp. I've lived in apartments with bigger kitchens. Eric commented, "Wow, it looks like they built this incredible house and said, 'Shit! We forget the kitchen' and crammed it into the corner of the living room." The stove in the kitchen is magnificent. It's a split-apart, in that there is an eye-level oven (this stove is brand new... I took the wrapping off of the broiler pan even) that is all electronic with buttons and geegaws and such. You program in the oven temp, the thing beeps at you when it's reached that temp and there's a timer for the baking process and all kinds of crap I haven't figured out yet. There is a cupboard both above and below that oven (which I'm still adjusting to) and then to the right of that little cupboard/oven/cupboard tower there is a stovetop with a cupboard beneath it, then the sink, then L'd up to the sink is a little strip of counter about 5' long. THAT is all the counter there is. When I'm facing the sink, behind me there is the fridge and a little space of wall that is now housing a set of 6x3' shelves that I used to use for books and CD's. They are now runover grocery dry goods storage because THAT folks, is my kitchen. Of the 5' of counter space, a good bit is taken up by my microwave, leaving me a whopping 3-4 feet of counter for things like making food, putting, I dunno, a TOASTER or maybe a CAN OPENER! In fact, I have lived in extremely low cost homes that had closets larger than my kitchen. I can literally stand in the middle of the kitchen and touch everything in it (I might have to lean a tiny bit).
So that's the first bitch... tiny kitchen. And the sink leaks a bit around the faucet and the water travels around behind the range top.
The only downstairs bathroom is in Delena's bathroom and has no door on it. The upstairs bathroom is rather small and has a space between the corner of the sink and the wall that must be negotiated in order to gain entrance. This space is about 18 inches across and fat folks and pregnant women need not apply. I have to stand on tiptoes and ease my tummy over the sink corner to get by. I'd better lose weight or I won't have a place to pee in privacy.
The family room, which is huge (the entire depth of the house) doesn't have any heat vents, but it does have a wood stove that we have not yet mastered. It's fairly chilly in there in the mornings and evenings and that's where my computer desk landed.
Eric left my favorite set of shelves (which I begged him to bring) on the driveway of the old house and was surprised to find someone had taken them. No comment.
Every single time I have traveled to or from this house, whether driving or being driven, I've gotten extremely, incapacitatingly car sick. The curves on the road are just amazing, literally an endless series of condensed S's, one lighting off the end of the other right on the edge of the mountain. It goes on and on and on for about 40 minutes until you finally get to Diamond Springs. Pollock Pines is about the same distance away and Placerville is even further. The only fast food is in Placerville. At least, the only fast food we have found. Diamond Springs is one of those uptight, snootyish towns that doesn't want the likes of McDonalds breaking up the rustic charm of their little POS town. There is a restaurant there that's quite good, but way too pricey for frequent use. In short, I eat at home. Also, no pizza, delivery or otherwise. :( Given the car sickness, I'll likely never leave my house again anyway.
There is a gigantic Wal-Mart in Diamond Springs, the biggest I've ever seen, but it's insane. I think every human in the area converges on it at once or something and the aisles are tiny, so you run into people all the time. I hated it. The Albertsons there (grocery store, East Coasters) has prices much higher than the one near my old house.
Dial up sucks far, far, far worse than I ever imagined it would or remember it did.
I have no TV.
Well, I have several TV's, but all they play is white snow. I can't even get fuzzy local channels. Nuffin. It supposedly (if you believe the lying infidels at Radio Shack IN Pollock Pines) takes the DirecTV guy about 2-3 weeks to get down his list to your name and that's only after you've gone into the Shack and given them money to hire him to come out and see if you can even get a signal from your part of the woods. Eric hasn't had a chance to get to the store to set up an appointment, so here I sit with absolutely no TV. I'm not having withdrawals or anything, but I surely do miss the entertainment. It would have been great company through all of those boxes I've been unpacking. It's also really challenging to run a soap opera site when I can't watch any of the shows. :(
From Wednesday through Saturday, my sink was clogged and Eric couldn't unclog it no matter what he did. That was a real pain because...
Remember that teeny kitchen I told you about?
Guess what there's NO room for? (any dishwasher other than the two legged variety and there's barely room for that)
The kids have a forty minute bus ride to school. I'm worried about Dylan since he's only in the first grade and has never ridden a school bus before, not to mention that neither of the kids have a frickin clue where they live and all of these roads look alike. I am having to trust the teachers to help them get on the right bus, trust the bus driver to look up into the mirror and say, "Dylan! Delena! Dismount!" That's a lot of trust for a control freak like myself to hand over, especially when it comes to my kids.
That, I believe, is the complete list of bad things about this place. Now for the good stuff, which may result in "see other journal entry."
This house, this place, this experience is absolutely amazing. It's really the only word that fits. Amazing. I didn't know places like this existed any more and particularly didn't think they did in California. We have determined, after looking at the surveyor's report, that we do not have an acre of land as was advertised in the MLS. We found the surveyor's stakes with the help of the agent and it's more like 2 acres.
The front yard goes up a slight hill from the main road and there is a graveled parking area that would park about 15-20 cars out front. The front porch is two tiered, with the lower tier pretty much being a step that runs all the way around the porch. The house is incredibly charming and has enormous character. The back yard is humongous and has trees all through it, leading out into a wide open area with a huge tree stump in the middle. This will be my circle area. The perimeter of the property is demarcated by manzanita (get ready to Wand, Georgia), pine and cedar trees of varying size. In the back of the property, there is a path through the trees that's really spooky and cool and opens up into a small clearing in the middle of the trees.
Although we've only met the guy part of the family, our nearest neighbors have a 10-year-old daughter and some younger children. (Hurray!)
The water that comes from the tap is clean and clear and tastes better than any bottled Arrowhead water I've ever had. It makes delicious tea that even beats out Denny's. (I only go to Denny's for the tea)
I never knew that silence had its own sound (I guess Simon and Garfunkle knew). The silence, like the dark, that falls up here is absolute and tangible.
The bedrooms are huge and lovely. The boys are able to spread out with plenty of room to play.
I packed into storage a ton of Delena's stuff so she could manage her room a little better.
I FOUND THE BABY PICTURES! A couple of years ago, I lost a vital box of pictures of Nathan and Dylan when they were babies. I'd stowed them away to be put into albums and collages and they just disappeared. I was thrilled to find them when I was packing my pigs. They'd been there all along, on the pig shelf under the spread, holding up the piggies in the back. I'd forgotten I'd put them there. I feel whole again.
I also found a graphic novel and a small safe that Joe had wanted to find for a long while now.
My outside kitty, Creep (Josh named him and he's about 30 pounds of muscle and fur), was so furious at being in the cat cage that when I opened the cage (complete with canned cat food right in front of him), he bolted and was out the door. We didn't see him for two days and figured him for dead. On the third day, he sauntered up, looking healthy and happy. We made up and are buddies again. He and KC (the other cat) both love it up here and have a great time wandering the woods and property. You can feel the happiness radiating off of them. Even our old puppy Dixie is doing well up here. She even asks to go outside and pee. She does hate the kennel, however. There is a dog house inside a fenced area and I thought she'd enjoy it, but no. She whined all the first and second nights. I thought she was just lonely and confused, but then I realized she was cold so I put a heating pad in her bed and now she's happy as a clam.
The kids own this hilltop. Nathan especially loves to run and play and explore and screw around with stuff. He's in total heaven. The greatest part is that he can just go and doesn't have to be monitored all the time. I can feel that he's safe. He has the greatest time. His favorite pasttime is batting pine cones against the fence with a plastic baseball bat. He loves the swingset and spends a great deal of time out there as well. Dylan is happy about anywhere he is, but he enjoys the big room and being able to come and go as he pleases in regard to the outside. I got so tired of saying, "You can't go out front. It's not safe." No more.
Delena has found her new calling as "trash burner." We have an actual trash barrel, which I haven't seen since I left home in 1978 and it has seen good use. She's very happy with her room and with starting a new school. She really hated the last one with a tremendous passion and was not looking forward (as some of you will remember) to the options she had for Jr High.
We went to the schools to check them out and both are wonderful. Delena's looks like a little chalet and at first, I thought I'd made a wrong turn and ended up at someone's house. There are only about 180 kids in the school, which has grades 6-8. Dylan's is also very nicely built and landscaped and has about 265 kids in grades K-5. Everyone was extremely pleasant and friendly. They are on spring break this week and will have their first day a week from tomorrow.
I do know that I can be very, very happy here and if I have to limit leaving my home because of wanting to heave my guts out every time I travel (seriously, you have to see these hills to believe them), then I could not think of a finer place to be stationed. My son, David, said, "This house is just so you" and it really, really is. My life up here is going to be very, very good.
There are still some challenges to be met. I have tons of boxes yet to unpack and so much stuff to get into place. This has really, really worn me out and I've had muscles hurt that I didn't even know I had, not to mention the plantar fasciitis from being on my feet so long. SHERRY, my dear friend, sent me some wonderful wrap around, velcro arch supports that have helped immensely (thank you, Sherry!).
Joe's Maverick (he lives in Canada) and our VW bus are still at the old house and we have yet to figure out a way to get them up here. We were going to rent a U-Haul and trailer to pull them and found out that will cost about $450. Eric is going to talk to someone about towing them. The Maverick was Joe's first car and means a great deal to him and we are both attached to the VW bus, so I hope we don't end up having to sell them. :( Neither run well enough to trust them up the mountain, but once Eric starts getting paid for the subdivisions (which KEEP getting pushed out on the start date), we can afford to get them fixed, but definitely not now.
This move has cost so much more than we ever imagined. We've moved many times before, but having this be an hour and forty minutes from our old house posed some new issues, plus we kept running into difficulties along the way. His unemployment hasn't re-started and they haven't been able to get any jobs for the business in some time now. There's just no money and while that's a familiar place for me to be, it's a very inconvenient time for that to be the case. We still have to figure out where the closing costs on the house (due May 3rd) are going to come from. I've been focusing on the move and trying to let that take care of itself for the meantime. I've employed a great deal of faith so far and I have no reason to give up now.
I did, however, find it interesting that the things I "planted" for Spring Equinox were abundance and prosperity (owning your own house is a step in that direction) and healthy weight loss. Where did I land but in a place with NO access to fast food, no restaurants to speak of and not enough room in my kitchen to cook, not to mention having to wash dishes afterwards. Then you throw in a week of constant manual labor (we don't need no stinking gym, just MOVE someplace) and stairs to climb up and down 1000 times a day and I think I'm going to be seeing a difference soon. Plus, the water is good up here, so that helps too.
All in all, it's a wonderful thing and I look forward to the time when things settle down and I can post some pictures. Right now, my camera is... somewhere.
Oh and a funny story before I go. Eric was sitting on the front porch smoking his pipe night before last late in the evening. I'd already gone to bed. He was startled to hear footsteps in the back yard and in his best Billy Badass mode, grabs something heavy to swing to go protect his property. His jaw about dropped when he saw that the footsteps he'd heard were a herd of about 15 deer of various sizes who were grazing in the back yard. :)
I'll be back around in bits and pieces. Things are still incredible busy and chaotic here, so my internet time is next to zero. If you wrote to me, THANK YOU and I will try to write back as soon as I can. Your prayers and well wishes have meant everything to us. Lord, I just want things to be mellow for a while.
I will never, ever, ever move again. Period.
See you later,
PS: Did I mention how very, very, very much dial up sucks??