Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That Was About As Close As I Get To Silence

And coming from a non-stop talker like me, that silence was probably deafening.

Thanks to everyone for the nice words while I was being silent on my blog. Believe me when I say I was not even close to silent in my actual everyday life. It's been a whirlwind. I want to update you, and I'll try to keep to the point, but knowing it's me you might want to prepare yourself. Go get a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, or if you live somewhere that it doesn't feel like the frigid arctic (read between the lines that someone still needs to acclimate here), go get a cold drink. This could potentially take a while.

I wish I was as together as Betsy thinks I am. Ten years ago I was. I used to get unpacked and have pictures on the wall and everything put away within a week at the most. I don't know what has happened to me, and no comments about age necessary here. I thought when it took me four weeks in Virginia it was because our quarters were so small that I was fighting an uphill battle, trying to get around boxes and then trying to figure out what to keep and what to give away. But since it's happening here and I have lots of room, I can't use that excuse. So here are some of the things that have been going on in the last two weeks since we found out we would be closing on our house.

Our 30-day notice for the apartment got turned in on Tuesday as soon as we found out we finally had a closing date. There were some last minute glitches that were fairly minor prior to the Friday closing of our house, the 14th of November. We closed at 4:00 that afternoon. We did end up sleeping at the apartment for several more nights until we had beds and kitchen appliances.

Of course I have had all kinds of delivery people and installers at the house. Blinds were a priority, and we had already ordered them thinking we would close in October; they just had to be installed as soon as we took possession. Internet, phone, and cable, our alarm guy, furniture, appliances, installation of some appliances...the list kind of goes on and on. In between all that I've made numerous runs to Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and/or Lowe's for things we have needed or returns for things we didn't. I finally got to the point that I bought things if I remotely thought I might need them knowing I could return it later, just to save a trip in an hour.

Appliances have been my nemesis. I am learning to boil water. Literally, people. I know that many, many of you out there probably love to cook on gas if you're anything like all the other people I've run into along the way in this whole process, but I don't. I'm an electric range kinda girl. Me and the gas cooktop just don't seem to get along very well. The gas cooktop would blame my ignorance. I do everything I'm supposed to, but it just doesn't work for me. I make my flame the right size and everything, but it can take me 20 minutes to boil a stinkin' pan of water to make Kraft mac & cheese. That's absolutely ridiculous in my book. So maybe you can figure out what I made the kids the first night we ate here.

Here's what happened...I had already been to Sears and knew every black appliance I wanted. No, thank you, Mr. Salesman, I do not want stainless. Harder to keep clean with my crew, and in addition the refrigerators have gray sides that wouldn't look nice from the side view in my kitchen. No, thank you, Mr. Salesman, for the 3,246th time, I do not want a microwave hood combination. I do not like them, not one little bit. Yes, I know that most people love them. I have plenty of counter space for a regular microwave. I personally despise them above my stove. I've only had one up there when I lived in Virginia and in this apartment we just had. Guess what? Only my husband can see in them for the most part. And they take away cooking space too. At least it seems like it to me. Gets kinda crampy there on the top of the stove. So Mr. Salesman, I just want the pretty black range hood all by itself, thankyouverymuch. We buy our appliances, instead of paying for them forever in our mortgage, and plan to have a refrigerator, stove, range hood, and dishwasher delivered on Saturday, the day after we close. Appliance installation guy is scheduled for Monday (as in just over a week ago) for the range hood and dishwasher.

As we are standing in the house rather late on Friday night and Hubby is putting boxes in the garage (more on that in a minute), I check out where the clothes dryer is going, because if you remember my full-size washer and dryer in the apartment was made for the childless island couple only wearing bikinis and swim trunks, and I am rather anxious to wash more than a handful of clothes at a time and actually try to get some serious laundry done soon. I think I came close to hyperventilating. The only other time I came close was on an unplanned helicopter ride that had to do with emergency labor and delivery (story coming in December, I promise, but wasn't that a tease?). There is no electric hookup for my dryer. I know what it is supposed to look like. I had to change my four-prong plug to a three-prong plug myself in Virginia. There's no special prong plug outlet ANYWHERE. Just a plain old outlet. And then I spot it. A gas line in the floor, all ready for my electric dryer. We had this discussion when we signed our contract and met with the building superintendent, but when we did the walk-through we missed it. I specifically wanted electric for my clothes dryer and stove. Oh, no, my stove. That's when the true panic set in and I spotted the gas hook-up for the electric stove that was coming the next morning at 8:30.

Well, one refused delivery later, another trip to Sears to purchase a stove that was not my first choice and a gas clothes dryer to replace my four-year old electric clothes dryer that really wasn't efficient anyway, we have our appliances. The builder would have come and at least put electric for the clothes dryer, but we decided that as many clothes as we do in our house that we will probably save significant money by having that gas dryer. But no, Mr. Salesman, I do not need a matching washing machine.

Hubby rented a 26-foot Supermover from U-Haul, again, to unload the two storage units where the majority of our things were located. Well, everything that wasn't in the apartment or apartment garage. He did that on the Friday morning we closed with a friend from work, and then on Friday night he unloaded it all in the 3-car garage. Until about midnight. While I was fuming about the appliances.

We had been moving over vehicle-loads of things from the apartment but it was going slow. Plus we got an email from our contact at the complex and it looks like we will not have to pay for the full 30 days like we thought. So we started busting our tails to get our stuff out. I don't know how we managed to create the chaos we did in just three months, but that is definitely how I would categorize it. I also don't know what people normally do when they leave an apartment, but we cleaned it. We are used to clearing military quarters, so it's kind of normal for us. Personally, I would like my deposit back and not get charged the extra days, so anything I can do to make someone happy, I will. Getting out of that apartment has truly been an awful experience for me. It just seemed to go on and on with no end in sight. We just finished yesterday, so that is no longer a cloud hanging over my head.

In between all this, our battery was dying in one of our vehicles. Our newer, bigger one, of course. It happened the first time when we were out at the house getting ready to leave to go back to the apartment to sleep. The second time we were at the apartment and had just loaded up both vehicles. I took it in to Sears and thankfully I only needed to have a battery and the alternator was fine. The kicker is that my speedometer is still messed up. It works part of the time, usually when you just start driving, and then after a while you're going 0 mph. Fun...

We went to Ikea on Saturday (four days ago) and rented a trailer to bring the stuff we bought home. We also knew that we could use it to clear the rest of the things out of the apartment garage, so there was a dual benefit. Hubby carried all those Ikea boxes, and I'm not telling how many, up flights of stairs, while me, Sparky, and Buddy, switched off or paired up on the other end of the boxes. We carried them in on Sunday afternoon between morning and evening church. You could say we all had muscle failure. Not a single lick of that furniture has been assembled yet. I told Hubby he could do that instead of watching the Cowboys play football tomorrow. What kind of a look do you think that got me?

When we brought the cat over, there was no furniture yet, since it was getting delivered in a couple of hours, and apparently that was a problem for him. He was a little freaked out and went upstairs to hide in a closet for a little while. After we showed him where the litter box was, of course. Which, by the way, Hubby does not like my choice of placement, but we can worry about that later.

On a happy note, Hubby will not be placing the cat in the dungeon, as he affectionately calls the basement, because the cat is using the litter box.

By the way, we've had snow, ponds are starting to freeze, I have to use moisturizer on my face morning and night, and my face feels like it's freezing when I go outside. It's a little bit cold here. Hubby threatened to get me one of those face masks you pull over your head with the holes. You know I'm doomed when it really does get cold here, because I really am smart enough to know that it's going to get a lot colder.

Even though we have our Christmas tree ornaments, I don't know if we have a Christmas tree. I think the government movers have it. We may have to buy an inexpensive Wal-Mart tree, because I'm not waiting until the second week of December.

I also have no pictures, because although I have some on the digital camera, I have no idea where the cable is to get them from it to the computer.

But I went commissary shopping yesterday and have a fairly full kitchen. And a turkey for tomorrow! Now I just need to find the boxes in the garage that have the dishes to cook everything else in.


Betsy said...

Ok...I read the first half and need to check on my pies. :) I've never had a gas appliance either so I can imagine it would be completely different in temps and time! It all still has to be wonderful and exciting. And remember, it doesn't all have to be done immediately. There's always tomorrow...and the next day....tee-hee! I'll be back to finish reading.....

Mari said...

Yeah! It's so good to hear from you again. I'm glad you are all moved and mostly settles. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Lora said...

Yea! Kayren's back!:)

Wow. It sounds like you've been quite busy. Moving is no fun at all, is it? Even if you're happy about the move.

Just to encourage you, I think gas stoves/oven are awesome. I wish I still had one. You do have to *learn* how to use them b/c they generally cook faster than electric. You'll have it down in no time! I hope you start feeling settled soon, but that can take a while.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Heather and Reese said...

You will probably fall in love with your gas stove. I did in Mississippi and now I have one again here in England and tears actually come to my eyes when I think of how it can't last because the military will eventually move us to a place without a gas stove.

On the downside, the childless couple with only bikinis lived in my house too... and in England, no less. How did they get away with such attire in this weather? The tiny washer and toting the laundry out to the tiny dryer in the garage is driving me nuts.

I'm so glad that you guys can finally settle in after the long wait. What a blessing! Have a blast unpacking all those boxes!


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