the hyphens that define my life

Eviction Notice Served June 28, 2013

At one point today, I found myself working from the kitchen table.  Vince has become too comfortable with his temporary makeshift office housed in my office space.  It wouldn’t be bad, sharing an office, but he talks SO loud on the phone, doesn’t like music, or at least my music, and doesn’t appreciate my commentary to whatever he’s doing or my fun conversations with my colleagues. Go figure. You’d think he’d get up and work elsewhere, but no.  So today I gave my husband a generous ten days to get his office in order and move his crap out of my space.

Calmly and rationally (my head wasn’t spinning and I wasn’t shouting) I told him that I needed my space and he really needed to be completely out within 10 days. Eviction notice served. He totally agreed.  Shazam, just like that, I will be in my office soon.  I’m in my office now, writing this post, with Andre, age 7, on my lap talking to me incessantly about Minecraft.  Boxes of all shapes and sizes are lined up against one wall as not only is this room my office, it is also the guest room and houses our exercise bike.  My plans include storing all of my sewing and craft stuff in here too.  An action packed room and all totally possible. The reality is that I’ll never be alone.

When and if the office ever becomes mine, all mine, I will post a photo.  Until then, I’ll do my best to be patient and understanding as my high maintenance husband figures out his space, which by the way, isn’t office-slash-anything. He needs his space. So do we.  The days of sharing an office with my husband may be numbered but I’m thankful daily that we’re both able to work remotely, from home.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of my friends in the Southwest, broiling in this heat wave.  You could feel the increase in temperature here in Spokane today but the heat is only beginning to soar.  I don’t do well in the heat.  Highs to 104 on Tuesday.  Eek!  Nothing compared to the desert temps I know.  Stay cool! Stay hydrated!

Tomorrow morning we pick up the last of our boxes shipped via Amtrak. Have I mentioned I’m never moving again?  Packing and moving is one thing, unpacking and getting settled is another mess all together.  Trying to put your stuff in a new house is really a game of putting square pegs into round holes.  We’ll get it done, but after our first week, the work that still remains is daunting.  With the heat, I don’t want to do any of it.  I’m hoping we go jump in the lake this weekend.  Doesn’t that sound better than unpacking boxes?

I just started reading Franny & Zooey but JD Salinger, left behind by the previous owners,  A book that I have never read.  What book are you reading?  Jumping in the lake, reading a book, drinking an ice-cold beverage and relaxing is what I look forward too most this weekend.

TGIF, this office is closed.







The Calm After the Storm June 25, 2013

Today was the rainbow day as the result of yesterday’s storm.  Only it rained today too. In spite of and in the midst of the rain, we unloaded a third of our boxes off the trailer that arrived via Amtrak last night. Progress!  Still a lot of unpacking and “where are we going to put this?”, cleaning and working toward getting our lives back in order.

The United States Postal Service is functioning well and forwarding our mail as pre-arranged. Tuesday is trash pick up day, a big life adjustment from our previous Thursday pick up.

Trace is feeling much better and enjoyed his first practice with FC Spokane.  Meeting the coach and putting a face with the voice, emails and texts for the first time was great.  Trace met a couple of kids that he will attend middle school with so things are looking up for him tremendously from yesterday.  He managed to get invited to a birthday party tomorrow where he’ll meet more middle school kids.  Thank you kind soccer mom for the invite and for understanding the pressures 12-year-olds face with a big move.

Andre met some kids at the school playground who are playing in Hoopfest this weekend.  Andre is more basketball obsessed than usual.  He wants to join a league and start planning his own 3-man for next year. Yes!

Niko is mellow as usual.  Just cruising wherever life takes him, checking the sights, jumping around like a loon.  All is well.

Vince played nice and work went smoothly.

Tonight we decided to see if Spokane could offer up good Mexican food.  Thanks to a little Yelp help, we found Hacienda Las Flores. Don’t let the exterior fool you, this dive offered fantastic meals that rivaled some of the best Mexican food we’ve ever had in Southern California.  Check that box, we have found a go-to Mexican restaurant!  Woo! Could there be others?

The icing on my cupcake of a day was when I received a compliment on an old outfit I wore today.  I’ll quote my friend Lita who said when she started a new job “my old clothes are new to them”!

Kid happiness is mom happiness.  What a difference a day makes.  Today was the calm after yesterday’s storm. Perhaps we just treaded more softly around each other, helping without complaining, or just being aware of each other’s needs.

I didn’t get the Summer Fun schedule planned today but we all contributed some great ideas.

With a little time and patience things come together nicely. Good thing.  These blow-by-blow accounts of my days is not why I’m writing these blog posts.  Trust that this move will sometime end (sooner than later I hope) so the writing, the stories, and adventures will improve.

Thanks for subscribing, following and reading.  I really appreciate your support…and tolerance.


Your Junk is Someone Else’s Treasure June 23, 2013

We’re still in moving mode.  On Saturday we managed to unload the trailer and unpack all of the boxes.  We had two casualties, a broken vase, a broken dinner plate. We were spent by the end of the day.  None of our boxes have arrived via Amtrak yet so we today we took on the project of going through all the stuff the previous owner left in the basement storage, the attic and garage.  We knew she was leaving things behind, stuff specific to the house and stuff she didn’t feel like dealing with and today we learned why.

I truly believe that someone’s elses junk is another person’s treasure.  I love some of the treasures we found today.  Franciscan ware china, McCoy pottery, vintage tablecloths and a bunch of other awesome stuff.  Our youngest has given up eating meals with a fork, opting instead to eat with the sword serving picks.  He hasn’t stabbed himself in the back of the throat, yet.  On the flip side, a lot of someone else’s treasures were left too, things that didn’t suit our taste, style or need.  We spent out Sunday loading the trailer with trash and debris.  The car was completely filled from passenger seat to trunk with reusable treasures to Goodwill.

On Saturday we did take a break and went to Manito Park.  The park is beautiful and we just rode bikes around and checked out the sights.  One thing we have never seen in ALL of Southern California that we saw yesterday was a group of at least twenty people, dressed in medieval/martial art attire playing some sort of sword fight. The swords and shields were fake but they were whacking each other.  There seemed to be some sort of structure to the game but I couldn’t decipher the play.  Fascinating none the less.  The sword fight added to our son’s eating with swords.  We avoided swords and opted for watching hockey and eating burgers at Waddell’s, which we found thanks to Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, for dinner.

No breaks for the weary today which is why my post is so late.  I have visited my local Trader Joe’s twice this weekend and staked my claim as a regular.  Each visit, the cashier asked what I’ve done this weekend.  My reply was honest, “My family and I just moved from Southern California on Friday” which spurred big welcomes and lengthy conversation about the weather, the great city of Spokane and convincing declarations that we’ll love it here.  Trader Joe’s wins Spokane Ambassador awards for being so welcoming and friendly.  Here’s something interesting to ponder, in Orange County Trader Joe’s will give kids a lollipop if they find the hidden Angels Baseball Rally Monkey.  In Spokane, a stuffed Sasquatch is hidden.  Kids tell the cashier they found the stuffed beast and the cashier yells “Sassy!”, which spurs all of the cashiers to yell out “Sasquatch”!  The Trader Joe’s mostly have the same foodstuffs available, with the only really noticeable difference was the bread section.  No more sprouted sesame bagels, 8 plus 2 bread or buttermilk bread.  As if I need any of it, but I was fascinated by the new bread options.  Hawaiian bagels, sour rye, local baked breads and pastries.  YUM!

Tonight, with the help of Trader Joe’s, we had our first home cooked meal.  A simple, chicken-veggie-pasta creation that was somewhat of a challenge to cook since my breakables have arrived but our unbreakables – like my pans and cooking utensils – have note arrived.  Thanks to the good fortune of some camping pots and cast iron pans left behind, I was able to pull together a meal.  We ate on dinner plates with plastic utensils.  Classy it was not, but the meal, thanks to our hard work and other’s cast-offs, was delicious.

No boxes yet today, but internet is installed tomorrow…progress!


Blast off! June 19, 2013

My husband had to run to Home Depot for who-knows-what so I’m taking a break, enjoying my coffee and posting this blog.  Thank you for the opportunity to sit down.

Here we are.  The countdown is done.  Today is the day.  3-2-1-Blast Off.  If only moving was as simple as the countdown.  Today is cleaning day.  The final push to get everything that wasn’t shipped yesterday loaded onto the trailer and get the house cleaned.  The carpet cleaner arrives at 1 PM, the landlord will do his final inspection at 2 PM, then we’re hitting the road just in time for LA traffic.

C’mon we’re smarter (just) than that!  Instead of sitting in traffic we’ve organized one last final hurrah, a BYO-Picnic a the park for some playtime and fun before we hit the road.  I’m going to lie down and take a nap.

Did I mention I was feeling 90 years old yesterday?  Today I’m 110.  I ache, I’m bruised and I think I have inhaled too much 409 while cleaning.  Can you get a contact high off of 409?  What about lung cancer?  I have never looked so forward to sitting in a car, or anywhere, for 20 hours.  We haven’t moved yet and you have all been replaced, Advil is my new best friend.

All jokes and exaggerations aside, no real complaints (not out loud, just publicly broadcasted through my blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts, just like a secret). Our move is going smoothly. Shipping our boxes with Amtrak was truly a genius find by my husband.  The story of how he discovered this option was the result of taking the train from Fullerton, CA to downtown LA for his project at LA Trade Tech.  He spoke with the shipping managers at the Fullerton CA station and LA Union Station.  He really connected with the LA Union Station manager (remember, my husband isn’t socially motivated).  When I met her yesterday I understood why.  Marissia is personable, thorough, efficient and interacted well with her peers and staff.  Turns out that Marissia recently celebrated her 30 year anniversary with Amtrak and is a 4th generation railroad employee.  What started as a summer job thanks to her dad, she found her niche career.  You know I love a good human interest story.  I hope Amtrak appreciates her as much as her customers!  Though we did a test run and sent 3 boxes from Fullerton to Spokane in May (giving me the opportunity to connect with the Spokane shipping manager), we felt good leaving our boxes with Marissia yesterday.  Our boxes are on their way.  Plus we saved $1500 from the U-Haul quote received, not including gas and having to tow or ship our second vehicle.  I highly recommend using Amtrak for shipping if there are any long distance moves in your future.  I’ll follow-up with this once our boxes arrive.

After the BYO-Picnic party at the park this afternoon we will drive 4 hours north on I-5 to get us out of LA.  We’ll end up somewhere between Fresno and Stockton.  Tomorrow we’ll continue northward leaving California and the I-5 for the 97 toward sunny skies in Bend, Oregon.  On Friday we’ll arrive in the rain to our new home in Spokane.

Goodbyes have never been easy for me. This afternoon will be tearful but I can not wait to get on the road.