Monday, November 29, 2010

The House on Elm - moving in

Moving day went swimmingly.
Well - as best as it could for doing the entire move using a pick up truck.
That and we weren't quite, exactly, completely packed yet.

Yes, its true. I may be overly organized now - but back in the 80's I was a bit more - let's just say spontaneous and relaxed.
(thanks again Bets, I owe you still)

Almost needless to say it was a very long day.
And my increasingly-round-wife could really do nothing more than watch. ... and tell us that the rugs needed to come up and the entire house needed to be painted.

Have you ever tried to reason with a woman who is 8 months pregnant?

You see, we bought our house from an old woman with one leg. Peg.
Actually - her name was Mary. But we called her Peg.
Yes, we were that immature.

Peg loved green.
We made this assumption because the entire first floor was not only painted green, but had green wall to wall carpets as well. And really ...who paints their basement green - unless you really, really like it.

Granted upstairs there was a blue room and a pink room, as well as a green one - but Peg didn't go upstairs... with the one leg and all.
In fact - Peg creatively turned the the dining room into her bedroom.
It was, of course, green, and matched her green bedspread.

All of this green needed to go. And there was clearly no time to waste with all this nesting going on.

And so - we rose early the next morning, opened all the windows to the cool March winds and started tossing carpet out of the house.

That week we painted the entire house off white. If memory serves, I believe the color was Navajo White. This was a stop gap till we could make more decorative decisions later.
For now - since the baby was coming ANY SECOND - we needed wood floors and clean walls.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The House on Elm - circa 1987

It was 1987, we had just gotten past our big hair phase.

We lived in a comfortable apartment, the first floor of a small house, which had ample space for us, our 7 year old daughter and two cats. We had a fireplace, full basement, a nice porch to sit on, and upstairs neighbors with healthy libidos. We were in our mid 20's. Life was good.
Then, we got pregnant.

At first, we didn't think much of our living arrangements. My young-wife and I were both growing larger day by day -- this of course was because she would send me out to Burger King or Carvel or the grocery store in the middle of the night and be sound asleep by the time I got back with whatever her latest craving was.

We were young, stupid spontaneous and literally taking each day as it came.

Then came the nesting.

Are you familiar with the nesting?


And so - in her third trimester - my round-wife proclaimed

"We need a house."

Um. Ok.

This was the late eighties people. Interest rates were through the roof, houses were selling like wildfires and were totally overpriced.

We went to see houses everyday - and the ones we bid on were already sold by the time we picked up the phone.

One afternoon our realtor called and told us she had a house for us to see.
We went immediately. It was getting dark.
We walked through - we noticed the house seemed to have a kitchen and bathroom and we saw no obvious holes or missing walls. We put a downpayment on it right then.
Did we see potential?


My ready-to-burst wife needed a house NOW.

This would have to do.

We went back later in the week to see just what the hell we actually bought.
It was at this time we noticed the house was somewhat ugly (notice the aluminum awnings), needed a bit of work (also the aluminum siding),
and had a back yard big enough for horses.


We're gonna need a bigger lawn mower.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

moving... an iterative process

We decided we wanted to move a couple years ago.

We've been here almost 23 years. That's a long time.

So I've decided to blog the 'story' of this place and the time we've been here.
I will do it in chapters - because I am lazy, and because no one really wants to read more than a paragraph or two at a time. We all have lives here.

Note this for starters...
We have not yet found a house - tho we know where we want to look.
We are actively in the process of getting ready to go on the market - thus the dumpster.
We are hoping to be ready by spring - but would like to sell mom's house first.

Monday, November 22, 2010

and for our next project...

Really - what could be more fun!

Ok. The fact of the matter is this.
We are planning to move.
You know... put all our stuff into boxes, put the boxes into a truck, drive somewhere else, take the boxes out of the truck and put the stuff all back where it belongs.
The thought is daunting.
The dumpster will help.

Our motto is "Do you want to pack that?"
We plan on being ruthless.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

drawing the line on cool

Here at the new digs we have what's called an 'open workplace environment'.

This basically means that are cubicle walls are low enough so we can see our neighbors. my case, just the top of my head.

Our overly organized and some what ideological company gave us plenty of pamphlets, seminars and web links so that we all know how to adjust while being considerate of others in our new space.
To that end - our speaker phone buttons have been disabled, we should not partake in odorous food at our desks, we should refrain from yelling over to workmates, and we are also supposed to adopt a 'clean desk policy' - tho I am not exactly sure what that is yet. I am quite certain that I am conforming simply by default.

Every one was also issued a wireless headset.
The headset will work pretty much anywhere in the building. This allows you to pick up a call ...and if you feel it may be disruptive in any way you can simply grab your wireless laptop and step into one of several small 'conversation rooms' scattered around.

It appears that some people are rather attached to their snazzy new wireless headsets... literally. They seem to be wearing them all the time in fact.
Just this morning I noticed someone in the kitchen getting coffee with their headset on. This person didn't seem to be on a call - just sporting the headset. This got me to wondering - do these folks wear them right into the restrooms?

Perhaps we made our workplace a little too accessible.

Monday, November 08, 2010

happy meal

I heard that in certain places in California - where the living is healthy, that a certain fast food chain has been asked by some watchdog groups to remove the toys from happy meals*.

The premise I gather is not to reward a child for eating over 600 calories in one sitting.

OVER 600 calories.
In one meal.
For a tiny person.

And they're gonna remove the toy?


* Fun weese fact: I actually served up the very first happy meals back in 1979 as a high school kid working at McD's. We were told it was a promotional offering and would be discontinued that fall. We hated them because we had to fold the boxes into shape. The toys were way better back then.

Friday, November 05, 2010



My company just moved into a brand new LEED certified and terribly posh office.
No really...its nice. Here is where I get my coffee in the morning...just one of several coffee areas in the building. It looks like a fancy hotel.

Prior to this I was working at home 4 days a week... in the attic.
So this is a step up.
Now that I have my own space to occupy I go in more often.

I spent last week bringing in all my standard cubicle accoutrement. These things include but are not limited to: box of tissues, wind up toys, lava lamp, coffee mug, lotion, advil etc.
There are still a few things still left I want to have on hand.

Today's tip ... don't wear black pants to work before you bring in your lint roller.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I am over 40. In fact, I am hanging on to the very threads of 40.
This means I need glasses.
No getting around it.

I am perfectly ok with this.
I recently upgraded from the dollar store readers to proper prescription bifocals.
These have changed my life. I love being able to see... all the time. I love not having to get frustrated at the blurriness and then go pawing around for spectacles on the table, on my head, or on a string.

Being new to wearing glasses full time - I have found that there is a period of adjustment.
For example, I knew I was getting used to them when I got in the shower with them still on. I took this as a good sign.

I am also realizing, as my vision slips further into its 'opia, that it might be best to put them on a little earlier in the morning.
This way - I won't show up to work wearing clothes with tears or stains on them. I might also have a better chance at buttoning correctly.

Monday, November 01, 2010


I overhead some people at the store today complaining about kids toilet papering their trees.
Personally - it's one of my favorite things this time of year.

Ferris mastered the toss and release at an early age. I used to supply him with several rolls each year. He also understood the importance of balance and placement. Select your site for the aesthetic. Be sure to get good coverage, but don't clump all in one tree.

Really what's not to love. The kids get to have fun - they feel like they are doing something mischievous. It's looks fabulous, and clean up is a breeze - just wait.