Saying goodbye…

…is easier when you are leaving for new adventures.

EasiER. But not easy.

My consolation:

1. I would not have these friends if we didn’t move around.

2. The Internet makes staying in touch convenient.

3. It’s a small world and we shall meet again.

Changing subjects (because that’s how I deal with my emotions), Myrtle Beach is supposed to be cold and rainy this weekend, but Northern Virginia is supposed to get 6″ or more snow. I got out just in time.

The truck has not exploded, but the driver can’t find a crew for Sunday, so we’ll have to wait until Monday for our stuff. I’ll be lounging in SC, but our family vacation gets cut even shorter. Oh, well. Knew things couldn’t go 100% according to my plan.

My husband, the pessimist (he calls himself a “realist”), always expects our moves to be a disaster.

I, the optimist (he thinks I’m on drugs), always expect our moves to be smooth.

It’s halftime, and things are going so well that even I, the optimist (or druggie, depending on who is talking), wonder if things aren’t too good to be true.

I have NEVER heard a good story about moving. There’s always SOMETHING. The biggest complaint I have so far is that WE have so much stuff it took them about ten hours to load the truck. They didn’t finish until about 6 pm. I was hungry and wanted dinner. Moan.

The truck wasn’t even scheduled to be here until today, so we’re already 24 hours ahead of schedule.

And normally when a truck departs, you are left with a dirty house. This time, however, I busted my rear end last week and moved furniture around to vacuum under and behind everything. On Monday and Tuesday, I was working behind and around the packer to wash floors, vacuum cobwebs, and wipe down kitchen cupboards. I had a lady scheduled to come clean my kitchen and bathrooms yesterday afternoon and did not cancel her when the truck got moved up. By the time she finished those, they had removed the last of our things to be loaded, so she was able to sweep the floor that had been under our bookshelves and give a nice mopping of the living space. Meanwhile, I did touch up vacuuming on the rugs, and the last thing loaded on the truck was my Dyson. The truck pulled away from a clean house.

And that’s as perfect as it gets.

OK, so my back is killing me, I boxed everybody’s pillows forgetting we would need them for camping in the empty house, and I fear I will forget the laundry in the dryer. It’s still perfect.

And that’s why even I, the optimist (Pollyanna), am certain the truck will explode en route.

PCS Move Part V

At the end of the work day, the packers leave your home a maze of boxes. They also leave their packing supplies behind, which gives you an opportunity to pack a box or two of things they refuse to touch.

This is the second time we’ve had movers who won’t pack up alcohol. The last time, they wouldn’t touch the wine or the liquor. This time, the wine was ok, but the booze was not. We have about a hundred pounds a few bottles of alcohol that I wrapped and boxed last night.

Also left behind were any liquids in my pantry, even if they were factory sealed. A bottle of cooking oil, vanilla and almond extract, rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce. These things add up in weight and volume and cost. I am unwilling to give away that much of my pantry staples, so I wrapped them up too.

On one move, I didn’t check the kitchen cupboards until long after the truck left. The packer missed a big lower cabinet that held all my tupperware and all my cookbooks. So I try not to wait until the last minute to check for missed items. Sure enough, last night I found a skipped drawer that held my measuring spoons and cups. I could have pointed it out to the packer today, but these light objects helped fill one of the very heavy boxes full of liquor.

Before I went to bed, I remembered they hadn’t yet gotten to the bathroom and there are tons of things in there they will reject. Right after my shower, I will box them up, too. I think I’ll have three self-packed boxes when I’m done which I will slip in with the others.

Lastly, the movers will not take anything flammable or explosive. This includes innocuous items like kitchen matches and cooking spray and more obvious items like propane tanks (even empty ones). If the truck took these items, they would have to follow procedures for transporting dangerous materials, which is a hassle. Although it seems like a good idea, I’m sure sneaking that Pam spray into a box violates all sorts of laws. Therefore, I, being the scrupulously law-abiding citizen that I am, would never do such a thing.

PCS Move Part IV

The packers are coming in two hours, if they are on time (more likely 3 or 4).

Naturally, I have paced myself over the last few weeks, and everything is good to go. I’m relaxing and having a nice cup of coffee before taking up another chapter in War and Peace which should kill the time until they get here.

Yeah, right.

My main goal has been to put things away, which makes sense, but it has also been to “think like a packer.” That means realizing that everything located within one room (or nearby rooms) will likely get packed together. Now sometimes this makes sense. You do want all the books on the bookshelf packed together. But perhaps you happen to keep a jar of rosaries on the bookshelf as well. You may or may not want them together, especially if you want the rosaries, but you have left the 85 boxes of books as lower priority in unpacking. It’s not easy digging through 85 boxes to find the one you want, but moving the rosaries to another area may make finding them easier.

This theory really comes into play when you have, for convenience, put things in different rooms of your house. For example, school books are not necessarily consolidated because some books, mainly history, might be read anywhere. Or you may have, for lack of wall space, hung decorations in bathrooms or halls or odd spots that you would not necessarily choose to repeat in another home. Or you may have stored things, like tablecloths and cookbooks and your entire liquor inventory, in cabinets and shelves in the living room because your kitchen was too small.

So, I’ve been feverishly working to put apples with apples, so to speak. And I’m almost done and very pleased. We’ll see how it goes on the opposite end when we open up a box and find things from two entirely differently parts of the house, which has happened before.

One new thing I will try is to put up signs on various doors/areas indicating what labels I want on the boxes. This was a tip on my mover’s information sheet, and it seems a no-brainer, but I’ve never done it before. This will be especially helpful if I can get the packers to label the school books (located in the downstairs family room) as such and can distinguish them from the other books (located in the upstairs living room). The school books have a higher priority in unpacking.

Well, off to War and Peace…? Truthfully, after my shower I have to sort a few cabinets in the kitchen, straighten up my bedroom, do more laundry, pull clothing out of drawers so we have something to wear for the next week or so…and hope that the packers are a wee bit late.

If you give a mom a pie crust…

There was a pie crust in the freezer.

It would be a terrible thing to waste a pie crust. Almost as bad as wasting cider.

I wanted something that required very little purchasing of ingredients, and settled on Black Bottom Pie (similar to Martha’s, but not quite as fancy and using whipped cream instead of meringue). The only ingredient I lacked: heavy whipping cream.

I happened to need to go to that big warehouse store because my membership conveniently ends in another week, and diapers and dog food happen to be cheapest there, and we needed diapers and dog food. They had heavy whipping cream. In quarts. I only needed a pint, but I whipped the whole quart anyway.

I made Black Bottom Pie and shared with another family. It is all gone. Yum yum.

But then, I had two cups of homemade whipped cream.

It would be a terrible thing to waste two cups of homemade whipped cream.

And then I noticed, in my rapidly emptying refrigerator, a container of chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup would never go to waste. In fact, I tried to bestow this chocolate syrup on a friend a week or so ago, but my children caught me. They didn’t seem to mind me giving her the teriyaki sauce, but the chocolate syrup? No way.

Anyway…inspiration hit, and I went to the store and bought ice cream.

Now, the whipped cream is almost gone and the chocolate syrup is almost gone, but we have a whole container of ice cream left.

No worries. There is no way ice cream will go to waste.

But as I consider the girth of my hips, I wonder: couldn’t I have made a quiche instead?

Not impressed

Have you seen Bump+? Having heard many stories and known more than a few women who were unexpectedly expecting, I have a hard time finding ANY of these characters believable. It really seems as though the show is geared to be a platform to convince us that abortion is the best choice for these women.

What woman is going to confess to adultery on a reality show if her motive to have an abortion is to conceal it from her deployed husband? Like nobody would see it and tell him?


Give me the intelligent college girl with the bright future. Give me the 18 year old good girl who left home and is shacking up with some 30 year old unemployed slacker. Give me the unwed career woman or the pregnant with #5 welfare mom. Give me likeable women.

And let’s admit that it’s all acting and not pretend that these women are actually going to take advice from random strangers on the internet.

Dialogue, yes.

Pathetic reality show-esque acting, no.

Because we just can’t return a not empty keg

The kegerator, unbelievably, still has cider bought before Bill deployed. It was only a sixth of a keg, but I guess I’ve proven I’m not a big drinker.

We are moving. The kegerator must be emptied.

I remembered this as I passed the appliance on the way to the storage room for more cleaning.

“We must drink the cider,” I thought, and went back upstairs for glasses.

“We must drink the cider,” I told Bill when I returned. But I looked at the clock. “Do you think it’s too early to drink?”

“It is only 9:40,” he said. “Perhaps we should wait until 10 out of a sense of propriety,” he said with little conviction.

“Yes, we shall wait out of a sense of propriety. Not any real feelings of propriety, but just for the sense of it.”

We are on our second glasses, and it doesn’t seem ready to quit yet. This pre-moving business is rough stuff.

Those naughty movers who swipe children’s artwork and other valuables

Yesterday a friend watched the kids so Bill and I could do some cleaning and decluttering. Our main focus was the kids’ rooms and toy room.

At one point I asked Bill’s opinion about some “prized possession.” Bill hypothesized that the owner would be very upset if we got rid of it. “Only if he found out,” I assured him. Nevertheless, that item stayed.

Just before picking up the children, we stopped at the post thrift store to deposit some things. It really wasn’t much, but it was probably the third or fourth trip we’ve made. Certainly, our children have way too much stuff. It is one reason I proposed a nice vacation in January as a family present for next Christmas.

This morning, Jenny asked me, “How come the packers and movers always lose our stuff?” Other children have suggested that Dad drive the moving truck to ensure nothing is misplaced. It’s so nice to have a scapegoat.