Moving Mess

Well, the kids and I have relocated to Georgia, but my husband had to stay behind in Alaska and finish up with his job for a couple of months. This means that I dealt alone with all the things related to moving into the new house.

And there were plenty of things to deal with!

(Many times I looked around for the adult who was going to deal with this fresh bunch of trouble, and realized I AM THE ADULT. Ugh.)

First of all, we moved into the house  with it completely empty, without any of our furniture, and lived in it that way for weeks. This was because the moving company didn’t seem to be sure where exactly our furniture was

Not that they admitted it was lost. I just inferred that it might be from the amount of time I spent on the phone listening to their hold music while they periodically popped back on to ask, “What was the name again?” and “Do you have a shipping number?” and “Where was your shipment coming from?” and “Who is your carrier again?”

Finally the shipment was located in a rail yard somewhere in Atlanta, but it still took them over two weeks to get it moved less than a hundred miles east to the local warehouse so it could be delivered to our house.

In the meantime, I outfitted the house with air mattresses and a card table with folding chairs. We painted some walls. Things were going pretty well.

Then the toilet exploded.

I was washing out a paint roller in the kitchen sink (which, as you might guess, required a lot of running water) when all of the water began to come back up OUT OF THE GUEST TOILET! I didn’t notice it was happening until Little Girl said, “What’s that smell?” By that time, the whole bathroom was flooded with painted toilet water.

I had to call for help.

Fortunately, a very nice plumber called Larry arrived soon. (Unfortunately, however, he did not look like the hunk in the picture.) Also fortunately, the problem was NOT the septic tank, as Larry first feared. It took several hours, but the clog was cleared. Success!!

My next task was registering the kids for school, which was fraught with difficulty. Maybe I’ll blog about that later.

When our furniture shipment finally arrived at the house, it was a typical July day in Georgia, just right for lugging heavy things about outdoors.

Image result for 100 humidity meme

(gif from https://giphy.com/explore/humid)

I really shouldn’t complain, because all I had to do was stand outside and check things off a list while the poor moving guys did all the hard work of carrying everything.

But it was REALLY TERRIBLE standing there with that clipboard all day.

Plus the twins kept opening boxes and spreading things all over their floors so that the moving guys had to keep telling me, “Ma’am, I can’t put this here dresser in the little boy’s bedroom. There ain’t no room in there.”

Then I’d go in there and move everything off the floor and yell at them to keep the area clear for their furniture.

Five minutes later, a different guy would come up and say, “Ma’am, I can’t put this here desk in the little girl’s bedroom. There ain’t no room in there.” And I’d have to do the same thing again.

They were only able to put together one of the four beds in the house because of missing pieces, and the unloading and unwrapping lasted well past six p.m., but it finally got done.

THIS is the pile of packing trash accumulated JUST THAT DAY, which the moving company fortunately hauled away.

After that, I was still left with about a million boxes to unpack. Fortunately, my mother came to my rescue.

She spent four days hard at work with me, and we emptied EVERY BOX and set it out to be hauled off.

Finally! The moving mess was over! I could just relax until my husband returned. There would be no more problems!

Or would there be?…..

Goodbye Alaska

We are packing up and moving out of our Alaska house.

No, we have not sold it yet, but I am hopeful that we WILL.

(Is anyone in the market for a house in North Pole? Anyone?! It’s nice!!)

Sigh. It really IS nice. I’ll miss this house.

In any case, it’s time to go. The place doesn’t look so nice anymore anyways….

All of our things are being packed up and loaded into a shipping container. We’ll see them on the other side.

We hope…

Home Sale Photos

Our time in Alaska is coming to an end and we will be moving on soon.

We don’t have official orders from the military yet, but we are getting prepared to move, and that means…

listing the house for sale.

This is not my favorite thing to do, of course, since it involves a lot of  cleaning up. I want to give the impression that this house is easy to clean and maintain, making it more desirable to buyers.

Still, I have been decluttering and straightening and all of that, and recently the real state photographer came to take pictures of the house.

When she arrived I was still frantically hiding things and making beds in the kids’ rooms. (I’d allowed myself an hour to get this done and that was not enough time. Astonishingly enough.)

I answered the door looking like a crazy person, blurting, “I’m-not-quite-done-with-the-kids-rooms-I’m-really-sorry!!” It was like five degrees outside but I was sweating like a pig.

The photographer was very calm and said she’d start downstairs and give me time to finish upstairs. She has probably dealt with crazy homeowners before.

By the time she came upstairs, I had finished. Fortunately. She photographed the upstairs and I watched nervously.

Then, oddly, the cat come out to see her.

This is odd because our cat NEVER comes out when people are over. He hides because he hates people. Seriously, he hates everyone in the world except my husband, whom he allows to pet him.

But here was Kitty, meowing and rolling over adorably and clearly wanting to be petted by this complete stranger! I told her the cat never acts like this, and he must like her for some reason.

She said, “Yeah; I’m really allergic to cats. I think they can tell because they always try to get me to pet them.”

Oh. So Kitty was manifesting his hate THIS time by NOT hiding.

Clever move.

Anyways, she left rather quickly, and she must not hold a grudge because the pictures came out great!

The kids said, and I quote, “It looks so much better than our real house!”

That’s the point, folks!

Another Alaska Problem

I accidentally left wet clothes in the dryer overnight.

You know how sometimes you transfer the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer and then forget to switch the dryer on? When you do that, the clothes do not get dry. Amazingly enough.

Anyways, the next morning when I looked in the dryer, the wet clothes had frost crystals all over them.

I’m not kidding. Jack Frost had been in my DRYER.

This is because there is a small vent to the outside, apparently, and temperatures have dropped below -30 recently.

I guess I should be glad I don’t have to dry my clothes outdoors!

 

Shopping for New Furniture

As evidenced by the state of my couch in my previous post, I’m in the market for some new furniture.

So here’s how that went:

  • Me:  *Enters lovely showroom*
  •          *Sits on pretty couch*
  •          *Checks price tag*
  •          *Faints dead away from shock*
  • Nice Saleslady: *approaches cautiously*
  • Me: *Sits up and tries to look normal*
  • NS:  “May I help you?”
  • Me: “Um, Do you have anything on sale?”
  • NS: (brightly)”We don’t have any sales, because of our everyday low prices. “
  • Me: *Struggles mightily not to roll eyes* “Oh….kay…”
  • NS: “But we do have our clearance warehouse…”
  • Me: “Aha! That’s for me!!”
  • NS: (uncertainly) “I’ll just have to get the key…”
  • Me: “Awesome! I’ll wait here.”

She came back with a key and led me out the back door, across the snow-packed lot, past a dumpster, and then into a warehouse crammed full of mismatched furniture with red tags.

I do believe I have found myself something I can afford, I thought!

 

The reason my house is clean…sometimes

Confession: I have a cleaning service come to my house every other week.

Yes, I’m a housewife who doesn’t even clean her own house. Don’t you wish you were me?

No seriously, I have Merry Maids, and they do a great job. I recommend them. If I could afford to have them come every day I would.

And it’s fabulous to look at my nice clean house! Until the kids wreck it again. So… for about ten minutes every two weeks it’s pretty sweet.

Last week while the Merry Maids were at my house I went to the store for a few things.

For me getting “just a few things” at the store means spending $150 and still having nothing to make for dinner. But I digress.

I came home to my beautiful clean house and started putting all my grocery bags on the kitchen counter.

They were plastic bags, because I forgot to bring my reusable “green” bags into the store again. (I hate it when I do that!)

So, the plastic bags were not very stable and I put too many on the counter at once, causing a bag with a couple of soda bottles to fall off the edge of the counter.

I screamed as I watched the sodas smack into a counter stool, which broke the lid off one of them and began spewing Diet Coke all over my clean house.

Due to my lovely “open floor plan,” the soda was free to spray not only all over the kitchen, but also to gush over the living room, dining room, and as far as the glass patio doors.

Diet Coke was truly everywhere in my house that had JUST BEEN CLEANED!! It was awful.

And not only did I have to mop up all that spilled soda, I didn’t have any Diet Coke left in the bottle to drink!!

Yeah I know. First world problems.

Now I’m going to blog about toilet paper

Everyone has their own ideas about the “correct” way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Over or under? You make the call.

Still I think we can all agree that the most annoying thing is when someone simply refuses to replace the roll at all. Perhaps you’ve seen this floating around in Facebook:

image from pinterest.com

This makes me nuts.  When you try to balance the new roll on the holder instead of installing it you help no one.

I’ve seen full rolls of TP fall into the toilet because of poor balancing, which is a tragic waste. (Also it’s super gross to fish out the sodden roll and trash it.) This is messed up.

But sometimes, I realize, you just don’t want to spend that extra half-minute (half a minute!!!!) to install the new roll properly.

Okay.

At my house I think we actually have this problem solved. The toilet paper hangers are much easier to load and unload. Here’s how they look:


When we first moved in I was skeptical about whether these things would work properly. I wondered if the TP roll would actually stay on there.

The answer is: it stays really well when it is full, although you do need to learn not to spin the roll too vigorously, especially when it’s almost out.

At first we did have a few incidences of out-of-control flying (almost-empty) toilet roll. But really, we don’t need to spin it so crazily in any case, now do we? It only took a week or two to learn how to operate the TP properly.

And now everyone can replace the roll with minimum effort; therefore no one does this:


I think our toilet paper holder is quite superior.

Do you have a TP opinion? (Everyone does, I’m told!)

Fish for Dinner

image from www.tripadvisor.com
image from www.tripadvisor.com

Last night I made some salmon for my husband.

(Because we live in Alaska now and must eat salmon. It’s the law or something.)

Anyways I cooked the fish in the oven and then some fried rice on the stove to go with it. But my husband was late getting home from work and I needed to leave. I wasn’t sure if the salmon was done all the way yet, but I thought it probably was. I decided to switch off the oven.

I got GG, my sixteen-year-old, to watch the twins for me. I told her to tell her dad to serve up dinner when he got home. Then I told her that there was salmon in the oven and to get her dad to check it and make sure it was done.

When I got home from choir practice about two hours later, I could immediately smell the cooked salmon when I came into the house. 

I asked my husband, “How was the fish?”

He said, “What fish?”

I looked at him. “The fish I made for dinner. Didn’t you eat dinner?”

He looked confused. “Yeah,” he said. “I ate the food you left on the stove.”

I said, “What about the fish? Didn’t you eat the fish?”

“Do you mean some kind of metaphorical fish?” he said. “Because there was no fish on the stove. What fish are you talking about?”

I went to the kitchen and looked in the oven. The fish was still in there, kind of dried and blackened. I took it out without a potholder, since I certainly didn’t need one now. “This fish! This fish I made for you!” I yelled.

“I didn’t know there was fish in there,” he said.

“You didn’t notice that the whole house smells like fish?” I said. “And GG was supposed to tell you to check on it!”

He said, “Well, she didn’t.”

We both looked at GG, sitting on the couch texting and ignoring us. She looked up and saw the ruined pan of fish in my hand.

“Oh,” she said. “I wondered why the house smelled like fish.”