Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Qwest failed me

Bad News. We spent time with Qwest operators before the purchase of our land and again just prior to moving to confirm that DSL was available at our address. Turns out people will say anything to make a sale. They called us yesterday to confirm our installation time and casually mentioned that they didn't think DSL was available in our area and hoped that it wouldn't be too much of an inconvenience! Uh, we both telecommute. It's more than an inconvenience. It hits right at our financial Achilles heel. It looks like we will need to rent office space so we can "work from home".

In other "this day sucks" news, the post office royally screwed up our change of address. Before we left LA I had a confirmed change of address document showing our new address. I went to the post office today to pick up our hold mail because we don't have a box up yet. Thank goodness the Winlock PO is small. Instead of forwarding our mail to XXX South Military Road they are sending it to "N Military Road". That's right, no house number, just the street and although the street name is similar, South Military and North Military are most definitely not the same. It took me over an hour to semi-sort it out. Turns out that our address had been removed from the active address list and placed on the vacant property list 3 days before our forward took effect. So when the computer read our new address it decided our new address didn't exist and defaulted to the nearest location. So after going in a million circles - the local PO told me to fix it online (couldn't do that so I called the 1-800#), the 1-800 people told me that they couldn't help and I needed to deal w/ the local post office (in front of which I was sitting during the call) and back and forth and back and forth until I had a little breakdown in the PO lobby in front of the very kind and concerned clerk. Finally I got a number of someone named Guy who was very helpful and found the problem and told me he could help on his end by changing the staus of our address and that I needed to start the Change of Address over again and cross my fingers. Sigh. Not a banner day in Winlock.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We made it!

Got to Winlock yesterday evening around 6:30pm. Our shed on the property was waiting for us. Kathy had a table of fruit, snacks and water set up to welcome us home. Let me backtrack a bit though and start the story from Los Angeles

We spent 14 hours packing up on Wednesday. We thought we were in good shape going into our last day of packing, having already pulled out and packed everything from every closet and cupboard and boxed up the kitchen. We were wrong. Stuff just kept multiplying. We took a break at 8pm and went to Sean, Xochitl & Finn's house for dinner and one last visit. It was a great way to spend one of our last evenings in Los Angeles. After dinner we came back home and put in another 2 hours of work.

The movers were scheduled to arrive Thursday morning between 8 and 9. They showed up at 7:20 and caught us completely unprepared. We were scrambling to get the last of our belongings in boxes. It took 5 guys 3 1/2 hours to load everything from the apartment to the truck. With every load that went down the stairs I thought to myself "this is the best money I ever spent!" Once they were gone and we were left with an empty apartment I went to work scrubbing the carpets trying to rid them of all the cat puke - sorry if I offended anyone's delicate sensibilities. Once I finished spot cleaning, Matt went back over everything with a steamer. Looked pretty good if I do say so myself.

Thursday evening Andy and his friend Rick came over and we all went to see the new Harry Potter at Mann's Chinese. It was a good way to let our brains take a vacation from all the move worries. After Andy left and we went back into our empty apartment I had a sobbing spell. I will miss Los Angeles terribly. And I will miss living so near Andy. It was great to have the chance to get to know him while we lived in the same city. We spent Thursday night sleeping on yoga mats on the wood floor in the living room - not the best way to rest up for a 2 day road trip.

Friday we woke up early and packed the cars. Matt's car, Friq, was filled to the brim with our computers and my car, Fraq, was filled with cats. Una, Lily, Russell and Quinten were completely freaked out at this point. I hired a maid service to come to the final clean and they were still at it, under the watchful eye of our manager, Judy, when we pulled out of town at around 10:30am.

We had a pretty uneventful drive (the cats will tell you differently) up to Red Bluff, CA where we spent the night. As soon as we opened the cat carriers Russell and Quinten ran under the bed. Una and Lily took things much more in stride. In case you ever find yourself in Red Bluff and consider staying at the Cinderella Riverview Motel you should know the following - Negatives: the bathroom is the sort of dirty that never comes clean, the towels will take off at least one layer of skin, there are cigarette burns on the mattress. Positives: they allow pets (this may be a negative for you), there is a view of the Sacramento River, there is a tasty Mexican restaurant nearby but I don't know the name.

Saturday we slept in a little and got back on the road at 10:30 again. The cats were less willing to get in the carriers and were much more vocal on the road. They would tire themselves out with all the howling, fall asleep, wake up only to realize they were still in cages and still in the car and start crying all over again. A little more than halfway through Oregon the scenery began to change and I started to get really excited about our new life. Our new place is only an hour north of Portland so that town was a major milestone. The miles flew by once we made it over the border into Washington and before we knew it we were pulling into our driveway.

The cats were unloaded and once again, the boys ran for cover while the girls explored every nook and cranny. There were deer having dinner in the yard when we arrived!!! After unpacking we drove into Winlock for dinner. Not too many vegetarian options on the menu at the place we ate so we ended up with grilled cheese (velveeta sp?) and tater tots!! ha ha ha! I took pictures of the Winlock egg and one of the chicken statues in town and will post them when I get my own computer set up. I am now using Tom and Kathy's computer.

Got back to our shed and set up the air mattress. I tried to stay awake for Kathy & Sharon's visit but I was pretty drowsy by the time they came by to welcome us. Went to sleep to the sound of trains in the distance, birds and horses. Woke up in the middle of the night freezing on a semi-deflated mattress. Stupid air molecules shrinking in the cold! Sometime during the night the cats discovered that there is an upstairs and we could hear them wandering around up there. Lily has staked her claim on the upstairs. Whether it is because she really likes being out of the way or is too chicken to climb down the rickety stairs remains to be seen. Una came to snuggle in the bed. Russell eventually came and burrowed his way under the covers. When we left this morning to come over to Tom and Kathy's, Quinten was still in hiding under the shower that is under construction.

I feel good about everything. No more tears. Ask me in 2 months if I still feel that way. Love to you all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Found my Marbles

Check this out! There is a marble maker in Winlock. This little town is full of surprises.

I have done a bit of additional research on Winlock (one would think I'd do this before deciding to move but whatevs).

First off - there is some debate about Winlock's possession of the "World's Largest Egg". Read all about it here.

I got the following info from city-data.com

Winlock population: 1,225. Comparing that to Los Angeles' 3,694,834 makes me dizzy.

Winlock elevation: 309 ft above sea level; Los Angeles: 330

Winlock land area: 1.1 sq. miles; Los Angeles: 469.1 sq. miles

Winlock foreign born residents: 65; Los Angeles: 1,512,708

Winlock registered sex offenders: 5 (ratio 243 to 1); Los Angeles 3660 (ratio 1051 to 1) - that's some small town family values for ya.

The nearest city to Winlock with a population over 1 mil. is Los Angeles.

Bad news: Burglaries in Winlock average 1086 for every 100k people. Burglaries in Los Angeles average 599 for every 100k people.

Not to happy about the lack of diversity in Winlock - especially compared to Los Angeles but what's a white girl to do? Can't change my spots.

Internet Silence

I am about to enter internet silence. My computer gets packed up today. As a web junkie I find this worrisome. How soon before the withdrawals begin?
I'll be back in a few days w/ photos and stories of the drive. If you are lucky perhaps I will post a review of the Cinderella Riverview Motel in Red Bluff, CA. With a name like that it has to be good.
I just realized that I don't have any photos of our current apartment. I should take some. I really like living here. The exterior of the building is very nondescript. It is impossible to tell from the street what a sweet little oasis it is inside. The floor plan of our apartment is pleasing to me too, big kitchen, bedrooms in back, big living room w/ giant windows and a tall ceiling. I'm not getting super mushy about it though because at some point in the future - after months of hard labor and living in a shed - we will have a house of our own. Having no shared walls, and no manager always listening for the sound of our door opening so she can pounce on us, is a beautiful thing. Re the manager - she means well and she is a lonely woman so I try not to be too hard on her but every time I open my door I feel like a fly that has wiggled a thread in a spider's web and out she comes for a lengthy conversation.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

If only I had time for a "Big Sleep"

Sleeping is my coping mechanism. A good twelve hours in bed during a stressful situation always seems to make things right. As I survey the house in all it's disarray, my eyelids begin to slide down, my knees begin to buckle and I wish I could just sleep until the truck has come to take everything away. Good news is that the kitchen is all packed up. That is always a hurdle. The next big project is my workroom. It would be tricky under normal circumstances but my workroom is currently the staging area for the move so I am trying to maneuver in between canyons of boxes.
We have been saying goodbye to friends. On Sunday we went to Susina and had a wonderful visit with old friends from San Diego, Ron & Lisa and Liz & Pat. Although it had been 5 or 6 years since we had seen them it felt like no time had passed at all. It's always that way with true friends, isn't it? Yesterday I had a goodbye/hello lunch with a few of my clients - one of whom I had never met despite exchanging hundreds of emails.

Today I am going to try and stop by the office of another client to say farewell. I also am going to hit my neighborhood nail salon for one last Los Angeles pedicure and eyebrow wax (in lieu of a big sleep). Wonder what Winlock has to offer in the way of mani/pedi's and waxing? Then there is washing the car - call us superstitious but we believe that cars do better on road trips if they look pretty. If I am lucky - time wise - I will be able to make it out to Violet's Cakes in Pasadena for one last box of deliciousness. I seriously stopped baking after I went to this place. What's the point when they have mastered texture and taste beyond what I thought possible? And then? More packing. Matt will be home all day on Wednesday for the final push.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Maybe it is the right time to leave LA

We have a neighborhood liquor store that we go to often for snacks and beer. If ever I come home at the end of the day on Friday and Matt isn't here I know he has gone to Lime Lite for some beer to wind down after the week. It was also the only place in the neighborhood that I could find grapefruit Mentos. Just a block away, on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and La Brea, Lime Lite is a place for locals. Thursday evening we were walking home from dinner and noticed major police car and helicopter activity in the area. This happens often. We didn't know at the time what was going on but have since found out that the 2 guys who are always working there were shot. One is dead and the other was shot in the stomach and might not make it. I am so sad. The shooting occured at 6:30pm - the same time Matt usually heads down to the Lime Lite. Yikes.

Here is the story from the local ABC7 news.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Moving Day

Moving Day is July 27th. The truck takes all our belongings away on July 26th leaving us a day to clean the apartment in an effort to get some of our deposit back. On the morning of the 27th we pack Friq and Fraq (our cars) with computers and cats and head north to Winlock Washington.