Saturday, January 31, 2009

Home Sweet Home or Box Hell?

Good God. I hadn't realized it's been so long since I last posted. We didn't get computer service until a week or so ago, and before that... well, suffice it to say that it's been sketchy. Hubster was able to rig up something so I could get email, but that was sporadic. I apologize to everyone who has written asking where the hell I've been. Under a mountain of boxes is where.

We are happily ensconced in our new home, although we're far from having it all put together. We can't work on it every day because Hubster does have a job which he needs in order for us to eat and pay the rent, and I'm working on a test project for someone, so that leaves the nights. By nighttime, we're both exhausted, so we don't work every night, either. However, we're devoting this weekend to getting as many boxes unpacked as possible so we can put everything together.

As for the shop, it remains closed. As usual, everything is taking a lot longer to do than what I had anticipated. We haven't even found the boxes full of inventory yet. They're buried in the really large boxes in our respective offices, which we hope to unearth tomorrow. I have some orders to fill, so I'll get those out ASAP. The guys who packed all our stuff when we left San Lorenzo didn't label the boxes, so we don't have a clue as to what is where. However, we've gotten several rooms unpacked (but not put away), so we're getting close.

As for the house itself, it holds a lot of surprises. In the main room, there are these doors built into the wall. We assumed it was a closet, albeit a weird place for one. The first night we got here, we opened them and discovered not a closet, but a bar - complete with refrigerator, glass-front cabinets (for glasses and booze), an ice bucket, a sink, a large counter, and everything you could possibly want to have a party in front of the fireplace. There's a funny little room under one of the staircases complete with a light. It's too small to be a closet, yet there it is. Maybe it's for Hubster to sit in when I get pissed off at him. We have air conditioning, which we were told wasn't a part of the house. I have no idea of what we'll find when we get the bedrooms cleared out. We have a trampoline in the backyard which I bounced on today (it was a blast, but I'm sure out of shape, and being at 6000 feet takes the air out of me fast). It's like Christmas.

The kitchen is put together, two of the bathrooms are done, the downstairs home theater is set up (but not really done yet), I've ordered some things for the house, we've got a guy who picks up our garbage every other week and takes it to the dump (we have no garbage service here), we've made friends with a lot of the shop owners in town, and... sit down and take a few deep breaths... I got a job. We were in a shop yesterday and were talking with the shop owners, and I wound up walking out with a gig playing the flute on the front porch (it's in a Victorian house - they sell art and locally made items such as lamps, candleholders, paintings, etc.) on the weekends, and also doing tarot and Medicine Card readings. We get a LOT of flatlanders (read: people from Los Angeles) on the weekends during the winter and just about every day during the nice weather, so that will bring in a lot of business. A lot of folks also have cabins here which they use as second or part-time homes. Anyway, I'm going to start in a few weeks. Next Friday, I'm going in to select whatever I want in the shop for my little area to make it "mine" (artwork, goddesses, etc.). The owners are painting a banner to hang on the front of the shop to announce the new service. I think it'll be a blast. As for riding my bike, no can do yet. It's snowed a couple of times (yay!), and there's a lot of gravel on the road (a real ass buster if you hit it sideways or wrong). I won't be riding until spring. Hubster and I are taking the motorcycle course together in a month or so (I need to take it again, and he's decided he wants to ride), and this area is primo for riding. I can see why so many bikers come up in the warmer weather. And get this - we have an ocean view. If the smog lifts just enough, we can see it when the sun is setting and the rays hit the water. It shimmers a fiery orange and is absolutely gorgeous. This is truly paradise.

What blows me away are the small things - having the bank president coming over to welcome us to town when we went in to open our accounts, having people on the street overhearing us talking to someone and coming up to welcome us, having the shop owners giving us a welcome discount on our purchases, having people just smiling and saying good morning... all the small things which don't always happen in larger towns or cities. Everybody is friendly and there is no fear of strangers. In fact, there are no strangers. Going to the post office is a social event. It far outweighs the minor headaches (like not having something I'm used to using in the grocery store). We can drive down the hill to a larger town if I need to go to a large store, but we're finding that we'd rather do without than leave our little hamlet. We're both so happy to be here - it's like Mayberry RFD or something. We're turning into nice people. Egads.

One incredible story (I have a bunch, but I'll save them for later). The shop owners for whom I'll be working were waiting in line at the local theater (yes, we have one, but you have to call to see which movie is playing) when they caught a man smiling at them. They smiled back, nodded, and said hello. One of them said to his partner, "That guy looks really familiar, but I can't place him". His partner told him to shut up. They saw this guy again at the snack bar and smiled again, but still couldn't place him. While they were waiting, this man took off his sunglasses, stuck them in his shirt, and took his popcorn into the theater. It wasn't until my friends got home that one of them said, "OH... MY... GOD... THAT WAS BRAD PITT!". This was right after Fight Club had finished filming and he had a goatee, so they didn't immediately place him. I think they're still kicking themselves that they didn't recognize him. There are a lot of stars/celebrities around here - they can walk the streets, go shopping, and just be people without crowds and cameras. The most that happens is that someone says good morning or tells them that they loved their last film. It must be really nice for them. Some of them own homes here, others just rent cabins when they want to come up and visit. Now I'm on celebrity alert.

So I'm fine - just really busy - but I wanted to leave a post so you all know I'm alive and well. I'll get caught up with my email during the week and will address shop problems as I can. For now, I'm going upstairs to make risotto on my kick-ass stove (it's even more powerful than the one I had in Sacto, and that one was a commercial beast) and enjoy my kitchen. I don't mind that the house isn't a home yet - at least not in the traditional sense. I don't care that there are boxes everywhere. It doesn't bother me that I don't have anything on the walls yet. It doesn't matter that we can't have company over yet. I've purchased some incredible antique goodies from the local emporium (and that's what it's called) which are laying all over the place (the Art Deco dresser with amber pulls is still in the back of the truck), and even though I'm looking forward to hanging or placing them, it doesn't make one whit of difference that they're on chairs. My soul is at peace, Hubster is so happy here that he could shit, and I can't believe that this is ours.

I'm finally - after all these years - at home.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

TB and the Flu Do NOT Mix

Oh geez. I haven't been this sick in a long time - and I'm the queen of being sick.

It all started with the TB, of course. My chest hurt, my head hurt, everything hurt. Then we made the mistake of visiting those germ-infested midgets otherwise known as our grands. Daisy was okay; she had gotten over her cold the week before. Lily, though, was still sick, and that's all it took. Hubster got what she had and very kindly passed it to me. Since I catch everything under the sun anyway, I really got whacked with the flu. The doctor had warned me to avoid people with colds, the flu, or anything else contagious. Well... it didn't quite work out that way.


This is the disease-ridden little Smurf who gave us the death rattle.

You see, with TB, it's already in my lungs. Getting the flu (or any other thing which settles in your chest), makes things VERY painful. Now there's not a square inch of me (except for my snatch), which doesn't hurt, produce bloody phlegm, cause my head to feel like it's going to explode, or a bunch of other lovely things which seem to happen simultaneously. The big fear is pneumonia. If I get that, then it's time for the hospital. Just what I need, especially since this is moving week.

If there's one saving grace, it's that it didn't cost that much more to have the moving dudes pack everything for us. So all we have to do is sit back and direct them as to what we want packed. Every day this week (other than Monday), is like a horror show. We're actually leaving a week from Monday, so that will give us time to clean the house. I want my deposit back. We're also taking the car to Carmax to sell it on Tuesday. Since nobody is buying anything with this economy, we figured it would be the best way. Yes, we're losing money by doing it this way, but at least we'll get some money. We need to pay for the move, after all.



That's my hotrod. I sure hate to let it go, but I'm really trying to simplify my life. We don't need two cars; besides, I'll be riding the bike all year except for the winter. Those trees are sure going to smell great as I'm cruising along. True, the Bird is a convertible (that hardtop comes off), but it's not quite the same.

I still can't believe that we're moving so far away. It doesn't seem real. I don't think it will seem real until all the furniture and other stuff is gone. It's good, though - a whole new area, new friends, just me and Hubster - we really need this. I feel guilty for moving when Mom has the potential for being sick, but I can't stay until I'm sure everybody is well. Something is always going to come up, and I can always be back up here in about nine hours if I need to be.

A bit of good news came along late last week. Rachel (Yarn-a-Go-Go) was asking for a volunteer to knit a test sweater for her (I think for the book). I dropped her a note saying that I would love to do it and not thinking that she would chose me. I figured a bunch of other people would jump at the chance. I was wrong - I don't know how many other people volunteered, but she chose me! I just bought the yarn and only have to buy a circular needle which I don't have, and I'm in business. It's a Gansey-style with raglan sleeves; the pattern is a knit/purl diamond design on the center panel with cables on the two side panels, so I'm doing it in a light lavender, sort of heathered, color. I think it will be gorgeous. I'll post pictures when it's done. I'm quite honored to have been chosen for the job; it will be a nice change of pace from knitting socks.

Speaking of pictures, I know I've been light on them of late. I've been so sick for so long that I haven't been able to do anything. But here's a little something which may amuse you:


Emma has decided that it's comfy for her to lay on your chest and cuddle against you. This is what used to be that adorable little creature that fit on my chest. Now she's a giant 50-lb. sausage with legs that covers my entire torso. It's okay, though - she's nice and warm.


This is my 90-year old grandma at Christmas. She giggles (which I think is adorable), so Hubster caught her giggling. That fat hand pointing at her is mine.


This, of course, is the bad-ass bike. It's a shitty picture, but it was overcast outside and wasn't conducive to good picture-taking. Since our garage is so crowded, we couldn't get the whole thing in one picture, but at least you get to see the front of it. I'll get a better picture of it posted when I have it outside (hopefully I can at least polish it this week).

I think that's about all the news. Since I don't have to pack or do anything horrible, I'm going to sleep for a while and then try to work on the shop. My poor artists - they've been so patient with me while I've been going through all this. I'll try and make it up to you, I promise. Oh... speaking of the shop, if you order anything beginning this Wednesday, it won't go out for about two weeks. While I'm keeping the shop open, I won't be available to mail anything out. I have to put everything in place in my new studio. That's the fun part of moving - putting things in a new place and making your new house look like a home.

We're going home.