Traveling from New Hamster to Niagara Falls

image

image

image

image

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Odds and Ends

So, I’ve been doing stuff around the house, little things, getting the house set up. The living room is coming together – we’ve finalized where the couch and tv go and that’ll leave a nice area for putting my grandparents’ wing chairs and a couple of small tables. There’s a spot where the christmas tree will go (yay) and then that room is mostly done. (I say mostly because there’s still art to hang and bookcases to settle in and fill. However, that room is in it’s final shape, so to speak.)

We’ve worked out that the small unused bedroom will be an office/guest room; C wants to put a little bed in there, just in case, but, uh, I have no idea who he thinks is going to use it. However, it is nice to have a guest room, so I guess we’ll get a nice daybed. We’ll need a desk as well, I think, but we still have a nice comfy office chair.

This means the front room, with all the windows, will be a crafty type room for me. The cat trees will be in there with me, and I’ve a selection of book cases that are just low enough for the cats to use them as more window access, which is important for them, in their Neighborhood Watch Duties.

There’s still an awful lot of work to do, but I can see how it’ll all look in the end and (for me) that’s the first (and most important) step. Once I see how things are going to fit, it’s just a matter of moving things about until they fit where they’re supposed to go.

I set up the printer already, right, so I can print out my boarding pass and pattern information for the projects I’m going to bring on our trip.

Riiiight, which I might not have mentioned. We’re going back to New England, to re-do the trip we took this past winter and see the same places, but in summer. We’re most interested in Niagara Falls and some of Buffalo, but it’ll be gorgeous on Lake Champlain and through the top of the Adirondacks. We might even see a chair in the wild. *grin*

We’ll be gone just over a week, from our flight out tonight to our flight back late Sunday next. My daughter is staying here, to look after the cats and to have her own life. She’ll be going to work on BART and getting home the same way, and (I think) exploring the new area a little bit.

Right now, I’m experiencing the joys of technology. I own copies of four books on tape (tape??) that I love. They’re NOT available as mp3 or anything more modern than cassette tape and, since they’re years old, I’m pretty sure the publisher and author aren’t interested in making them available any other way. (This isn’t quite true – they’re available as Kindle books, but I want the exceptional reader that the books on tape have, so I’m stuck.)

So anyway, I hunted around on amazon and found a tape player that’ll connect up to my computer. I downloaded Audacity and now I’m playing the tapes into my computer, which will, I hope, then be able to produce mp3s that I can have C download to his iPod (and I’ll be putting on mine as well, but for travel, we use his) so we can listen to them in the car. I’m more excited about being able to listen to them again than I expected. For now, I’m only doing the first one, but when we get back, I’ll do the rest. And the copies of books on tape that my kid has that we can’t get in any other format.

There are some other odds and ends. Turns out the owner of the house comes by every couple of weeks to mow the lawn. Which is fine, but damn, I wish he’d SAID so I didn’t freak the fuck out when I saw a random dude just walking past my kitchen window yesterday. Honestly, I’m a little confused about the legality of him doing that without giving us notice, but, well, I guess he’s given us notice (of a sort) now? It makes me a little less confident about the place, somehow, but it’s minor. He’s been once before, but we were out; C and I noticed that the grass looked cut, but we thought we must be imagining it. We weren’t.

I’ve moved all my photos and documents to the new laptop, which is good. At the very end of it, last night, I thought I might not be able to – the old computer was crashing so hard and so constantly that I was afraid I’d lost my chance. C, however, just took the old drive out of the machine and plugged it into a drive adapter thing that he just has lying around and it all worked perfectly.

School doesn’t start until the end of September, so I’ll be ordering my schoolbooks soon and trying to set up some of the front room as a study room. Maybe I can use the office for that, when C isn’t using it to work from home. We’ll see how that works.

Anyway, I’ve stuff to do for the house and for the trip, so I’m off.

SongBird

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life, New England, New House

Morning on the deck

image

image

image

image

Breakfast of scrambled eggs and toasted garlic bread. And coffee, of course.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life, Local life

Snapshots from the New House

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

Garlicky Chicken and rice

Garlicky Chicken and rice

Snoozing cat...

Snoozing cat…

Sleeping cats are happy cats.

Sleeping cats are happy cats.

They'll need watering.

They’ll need watering.

I want to get this green and lush.

I want to get this green and lush.

There's a built in coffee nook!

There’s a built in coffee nook!

PBJ and coffee on the deck - total luxury.

PBJ and coffee on the deck – total luxury.

This is what I've been looking forward to for weeks now...

This is what I’ve been looking forward to for weeks now…

Figs, goat cheese, toast, coffee. What more could I want?

Figs, goat cheese, toast, coffee. What more could I want?

Well, they like the couch. Sort of.

Well, they like the couch. Sort of.

Before - IKEA tables...

Before – IKEA tables…

... and After. Nice, huh?

… and After. Nice, huh?

For catching keys and purses...

For catching keys and purses…

New sunbeams are the best.

New sunbeams are the best.

Butter's turn in the sunbeam.

Butter’s turn in the sunbeam.

Her favorite spot.

Her favorite spot.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life, Gardening, Kitties, New House

A Collection of Lists

image

image

image

image

image

You can see the tension and panic creep in, can’t you?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life

Packing

The cats have helpfully packed themselves.

image

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

We have a new home!

FINALLY!!

It’s not the one we desperately really wanted, which is just about four blocks from where we’re living now, but it’s nearly as big as where we are now, it’s much closer to my school (I could actually walk to school in about half an hour. Uh, maybe I’ll get fitter?), it’s up a hill and there’s a great deck above the house so we have a view of San Francisco!!

I'm looking forward to bbqs and lazy afternoons up here.

I’m looking forward to bbqs and lazy afternoons up here.

On a clear day, we'll be able to see San Francisco!

On a clear day, we’ll be able to see San Francisco!

It's really big!

It’s really big!

The deck is a real selling point.

The deck is a real selling point.

Since the driveway is really steep, we’re going to hire a moving service (oh dear, I have to start calling them today!); I don’t want to have to drag all my heavy boxes of books up there! It’s such a relief to know we have a place to go. Also, this means I’ll be able to figure out what furniture we’ll really be able to keep/use. Knowing how big the rooms are and how many of them we’ll have is important!

We’d like to be much less cluttered in the new place (and in the future in general), so I’m trying to get rid of as much stuff as if we’d had to move into a much smaller place. It’s so easy to have too much stuff!

The house is a little odd – there are some strange little … tucked in spaces where the roof is visible from the inside. It almost seems as if the roof is nothing but the wooden outer shell.

You can really see the odd roof here.

You can really see the odd roof here.

Strange, isn't it?

Strange, isn’t it?

However, the garage is decent, and that’s important.

At least the garage comes with built in storage.

At least the garage comes with built in storage.

Also, the kitchen is much larger than the one we have now. The cabinets are painted an unusual shade of mint green. It’s more startling in person.

That's an ... interesting green, don't you think?

That’s an … interesting green, don’t you think?

Anyway, I’m going back to packing. It’s a never-ending job, it seems.

Once we move in, C and I are going on a short trip, just as a break. Phew.

SongBird

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life

Where would you like to live?

So in the Housing Quest, I’m looking at an awful lot of houses and apartments. We’d rather live in a house, even a townhouse, but most of the local apartment complexes allow pets and many of the local houses don’t, so we’re having to take what we can get.

And, honestly, if the apartments were a little bigger and less expensive, they wouldn’t be so bad, really. They all have pools and exercise rooms and locking doors and are quite nice … in a bland, pointless, plastic sort of way. But each of them charges “rent” for each cat – no, really, they don’t say that there’s an extra amount added to OUR rent, they say “Each pet will have to pay $X per month in rent.” Uh, my cats don’t have jobs and they’re pretty unlikely to get a job in the next few weeks. How the hell are they supposed to come up with rent?

Also, the apartments don’t come with parking for both cars. So, the one I looked at today – in Union City, very nice for C, about a 1 minute walk to a Starbucks, so good for my kiddo – they charge $65/cat/month rent, and an extra $500 in the deposit, and if you want two parking places you’ll have to pay an extra $25/month, and the tenant pays ALL utilities (including water, which is odd to me as every other apartment complex I’ve been in doesn’t charge for water. Also, they assess the charge by taking the total water bill for the entire building and dividing it by number of residents. Uh… what if someone leaves their water running while they go away for a holiday weekend?).

So I don’t think we’ll be renting from this complex, even if it is nice and they do let tenants paint their apartments.

In other news, packing sucks, going through my years of collected junk is overwhelming and dreary (but oddly freeing) and it seems like every time I start packing stuff I find more and more to pack/go through/deal with. Ugh.

SongBird

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life

Moving?

Well. The day after that last post, we got a 60 Day Termination of Tenancy Notice. At least it wasn’t timed so that we had to move during finals or so that we got the notice itself during finals, but really, we could do without moving at all, thank you very much.

Turns out the rental market in the Bay Area right now is entirely a seller’s market. Everyone wants to move here, everyone wants to have a house/apartment/roof, and many people seem willing to pay really outrageous amounts. The rental managment company said that the property owner is moving back in, but she never lived here in the first place. We think that she wants to sell – or, maybe that she wants to put the rent up more than she can do to established tenants. Either way, we’re stuck.

We’re not ready. Aside from not yet having a place to go, we have so much stuff that getting packed and moving is overwhelming. We’re looking at places from here in Alameda to as far south in the East Bay as Union City. Dublin is a possiblity, but an awful one.

Another strike against us is the cats. So many places won’t take pets; are people supposed to just live without furry friends? How awful! I have a loving and annoying furry little beast lying across my arms as I type this; without them we’d be so lonely.

However, as everyone says, this is a good opportunity to get rid of all the junk we’ve been keeping simply becasue we’re too lazy to get rid of it. That is, bizarrely, not as easy as it sounds. I’ve a tiny car and there’s so much stuff to get rid of. Augh.

For my next trick, I’ll learn to pack things with just my mind!

SongBird

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life

Snapshots from my Saturday

image

We found a great little brunch place in a hidden part of Richmond. The hollandaise is truly hand-made, delicious and lemony.

image

image

We drove about the area and looked at the great views.

image

I’m working on basic socks for C, in Liberty fingering weight wool.

image

Then, we went to Sattui winery,  for our favorite wine, and lovely blown roses.

Finally home for light dinner and for me to study.

image

I have a lot more studying to do. The quarter is almost over,  and I am looking forward to the summer.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Daily Life