30 July 2008

Too Much?

When your belongings are all stuffed into 3 rooms, it winds up looking something like this:
(Actually, this picture is after we've moved a lot of things to their proper places.
This is supposed to be our bedroom. Ha! We closed last Wednesday, and managed to sleep in our new house Sunday night. We are now only in our house (well, when we are at home).
Our front entrance--it's sort of situated diagonally to the lot. (We found out how much land is worth here--oh, my goodness.) The house is really convenient to everything. The Collar walks to work, we can walk to a grocery store, ride bikes to the others, walk to downtown and the post office--it's really nice to be able to have a lower gas budget because we walk!
I have priorities. These are roses I cut from our rosebushes. Aren't they beautiful? (The vase is a gift from the Collar's sister and her husband. It came from Italy. It needed something special for its inaugural use.)

In between moving into and unpacking our new house, The Collar has had a busy two+ weeks. The first day, he had an interview at the local paper. The second day, he was on tv. All of this was for Bene-fest, a concert to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. We've also been to parks, the farmer's market, the Sweet Onion Festival, and various other places.

We now have DSL at home and our satellite service hooked up. The technicians were great. One was a former Los Angeleno, who found out we came from Kentucky and warned us about winter. Everyone has been really friendly. It doesn't even matter where people are from. I think everyone's self-selected to be here. :)

23 July 2008


The window in the entry hall.

We closed today. Hopefully, we'll be living there by the weekend. It will be good to sleep in our OWN beds again. It's been over three weeks now.

22 July 2008

Things We Learned on Our Trip

--Maisie learned that the car and the leash are not horrible things.

--The boys learned/taught themselves how to remove their underwear WITHOUT taking off their shorts. And put them back on. (Why, I have no idea. It's not exactly a life skill that one must have to go to college. Or maybe it is. It's good that I teach online.)

--The Collar and I have learned that our metal travel mugs keep coffee hot, but that the plastic ones don't.

--We like the west's scenery.

--The boys are quite creative at coming up with things to do. They amused themselves in the car much better than they are now.

--We all really like it here. Both boys have told this to everyone we've met, completely unprompted.

--I really miss email and the internet. :(

18 July 2008

Westward HO! Oregon and Washington

But only a little of Washington. We're just across the border from Oregon.Parts of Oregon are very much desert. Parts are mountainous, and parts are green. We climbed and climbed while we were in Oregon, then, we came down from literally days of climbing in about 10 miles. Not a heck of a lot of fun, I'll tell you. It's especially not fun when you are in a Suburban pulling a car. But, we made it all in one piece.
We stopped for lunch at Farewell Bend State Park. It's named for the place that the pioneers left the Snake River. Obviously, there's a bend in the river there.
Snake River, with a bit of the bend. I have more river pictures, and I'll work on getting all of that set up soon.
A picture of dust devils in a wheat field. I kind of like this picture.Welcome to Washington!

I'll write more later. Once we are settled (i.e. have our own internet service) I'll make a slide show of our trip. It went *very* well, even with all of our pets in tow.

16 July 2008

Westward HO! Idaho

We spent the night in Idaho, at Twin Falls. Most of Idaho was desert and potatoes. It was flat, and dull, and then there was this:We stayed by the Snake River Canyon. It was amazing. If you didn't look down, you'd literally never see it. Not only that, we managed to be there on Sunday morning when there were base jumpers off of the bridge. (I truly wish I could post more pictures in blogger.) All of us decided that it was cool to watch, but not a one of us wanted to try it.

Later, I'll write about Oregon (where there was no welcome to Oregon sign) and Washington. a

14 July 2008

It's still day 3

A very blurry welcome to Utah sign.

I wrote about Wyoming on Saturday. Today I'll write about Utah, and the beginning of Idaho. We are in Walla Walla now, but not in our house yet. I'm hoping that will be soon. For all I know, I'll be teaching in August in coffee shops. Not that that's a bad thing...

The Collar decided that Utah was more beautiful than Wyoming. I'm not so sure, because to me they are very different types of places. Wyoming is much more wild (kinda like my hair!) but Utah is more manicured. The mountains are much more impressive in Utah, though. My first new state this trip was Utah. Idaho was the second. I have been to all of the others, but they are all impressive places, even if they are just impressively boring! The picture below is not boring, however. It is shortly after we went into Utah.When we went through Ogden, UT, there was an amazing plume of smoke. There was a fire in a recycling center, which made impressive amounts of smoke. It looked worse than it was.
The mountains were very impressive. They are HUGE. They are dry. Not much grows there.Finally, welcome to Idaho. I have some great pictures of there, too. It looks like there's nothing, but...I'll show you tomorrow.

12 July 2008

Westward, HO! Travel Day 3

Yes, I'm being really creative with the titles of my blog entries right now, aren't I? Today we traveled from Cheyenne, WY to Twin Falls, ID, a distance of 620 miles. We traveled through Wyoming, a bit of Utah, and just into Idaho.

Tonight, I'll just talk about Wyoming.

The majority of yesterday was in Nebraska. It's a long, long state. It's as our children succinctly put it: BORING! Our Conestoga wagon told us that the temperature outside fluctuated between 95 and 99 degrees (Fahrenheit, for you Canadians). This morning we woke up in Cheyenne and it was cool 49 degrees. Brr! It stayed in the upper 70's/low 80's while we were in Wyoming.

I've decided that Wyoming is quite nice, if you avoid the towns, and don't want to have anything such as stores, other people, houses, roads, gas stations, and the like. However, you'll have plenty of pronghorn antelope around, and lots of beef. I really did like it, and I could probably live there, as long as I had high speed internet. The boys were impressed with the scenery also, and told us it's too bad that all of the boring stuff comes at once. Game Boy kept looking at the crevasses, watching for pumas. We were not sore afraid, though. *

Who cares what we think? Here are some pictures!
Wind farm windmills. I think that they are beautiful, and have a great purpose.
Rocks. Gigantic ones.
A rest area view. The Wiz is in the foreground, catching crickets. The vista goes on forever.
Rocks and sagebrush, or sagebrush and cliffs. You choose.More sagebrush, more rocks, and places for fierce wild beasts that smell like pumas to hide. (It's late, forgive me!)

*If you can identify what the heck I'm talking about, you get a gold star!

11 July 2008

Westward, HO! Travel Day 2

Today was Kansas City, KS to Cheyenne, WY. This is a distance of 632 miles.

The boys saw new states: Iowa (for a whopping 15 miles!), Nebraska (more than they'd have liked), and Wyoming (a new state for The Collar, too). I have visited all of these states.

Tomorrow, though, I'll get to see two new ones: Utah (for a short bit) and Idaho!

The boys and pets are mostly doing fine. The boys aren't fighting too much in the car. They save that for later! Today they played some complicated game that involved using the "supplies" that they had on their side of the car. Each thing was worth some specific amount or had some purpose. Other things were just available. I have no idea who won.

Right now, it's 9:38, and everyone else is sleeping. I'm writing blog entries. I want to remember this, because even if it's sometimes a pain, it is a huge adventure. It's hard to leave family and friends, even though we have email, skype, and airplanes. I can't imagine what it was like a hundred or so years ago.

Tomorrow's another long day. We head for Twin Falls, ID which will be about 615 miles, or the same amount as Monday. We will NOT be leaving as late, though. Wish us luck.

A brief interlude

On Monday, we drove from The Collar's parents' house to my parents' house. This is a distance of 617 miles, so it was a pretty long day. We left kind of late (it happens) and didn't arrive until late on Monday night. I showed you pictures of all of that before.

Tuesday through Thursday, we spent with family. We didn't get to see everyone (we never do), but we saw a pretty good chunk. Here's how many children were at my parents' house on Thursday:We have a lot of family. My brother's daughter wasn't there but we saw her later, and neither were the daughters of the sister that isn't even a year younger than me.

For the first time in ages, we were there when my uncle was in town:And we saw The Aunts.Some how, I didn't get any pictures of my brother and his family OR my parents. How on earth does that happen? (Probably because I'm a candid shot person and it never really occurs to me to take posed pictures!)

08 July 2008

Westward, HO! Day 1

Scenes from our trip:
Modern Day Pioneers and their Conestoga Wagon on the Way to Washington State
Our last view while in KentuckyIllinois and Indiana are apparently full of construction.
The official gateway west.

We're in KCK for a few days now. On Friday, we drive to Cheyenne.

05 July 2008

a sad good bye

He just couldn't make the trip to Washington. :( This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Murfy was about 15 years old, as best as we could guess. We've had him 9 years. He has been around most of Game Boy's life and all of the Wiz's. He was the sweetest dog ever.

The trip to Northern Kentucky made him sick. He'd been spending most of his days lying on the bean bag growling to himself. Half the time, he'd refuse to go upstairs, and he hated being carried. He was blind, and we didn't think he could make the transition to a new house.

Murfy used to dance, and he smiled. He was very gentle with everyone. I don't think he ever snapped at anyone. He loved to be petted, but wasn't needy about it. He followed me from room to room, and kept me company.

He let me hold him on the way to the vet. The boys were able to say good bye. The Collar and I were with him as he went.

Good bye, Murfy! We love you. Our home will be less without you.

03 July 2008

We're out!

Mostly, anyway. I still have to shampoo carpets. But the house in on the market, now, so there has been progress.

This is our second completely paid for and done move. The first time, we learned that telling the movers not to pack things doesn't work (The Wiz's diaper pail was packed full, with lots of other things. We just threw away the box.) so we packed the stuff we wanted for the trip and what we needed into my car. The only things that were packed were the dog bowls and the leashes. Really, that's not too bad. We also stuck a few things on the piano, so that helped, too.

Things I learned: we/I have a lot of kitchen/dining equipment. I think that those two rooms probably took the longest!Game Boy's bedroom actually took the longest. What is truly frightening about that is we cleaned/pared down his belongings in May. He just likes to collect things, and he's sentimental.The Wiz's room took the least amount of time.

The dogs behaved very well. Not much barking, but they were very worried. Lulu keeps hanging out by the cars, in case we might go back home. (Currently, we are at The Collar's parents for a few days while BBF v. male is in the hospital recovering from his surgery.) How do you explain to a dog that we aren't going back there?