Kithen Table

Every day is the same.  Get up.  Go to the house.  Clear the kitchen counter of yesterday’s hand-washed dishes. Unload dishwasher. Unpack boxes.  Wash contents by hand or put in the dishwasher.  Put fabric items in the laundry. Repeat.  All day.  I am down to one box in the kitchen.  It does not look like kitchen stuff.  The top item was daughter Jennifer’s Jack O’Lantern Halloween costume from when she was small. It would fit her children now.

I carry things from room to room. It seems that no box is dedicated to just one room. When I get to the proper room, I see something there that needs to go to another room.  Repeat.  All day.

Today, I opened a box labeled “baby linens” in the guest room.  Time for mom to pause and wistfully fondle the yellow crocheted blanket.  There was the small quilt with appliqued animals.  And two bath towels with a corner, animal head, hood. I miss my babies and am a bit annoyed with them for growing up.

I made spaghetti for dinner with a frozen container of sauce.  It was a struggle.  I didn’t have a proper colander and dumped the pasta into the sink.  Fortunately, I had cleaned the sink before I cooked.  We found an assortment of utensils to scoop it out of the sink and into the pasta bowls. I didn’t have a ladle to serve the sauce – or even a large spoon. When we finished eating, I decided to turn the table.  Literally. It seemed a bit awkward the way it was so we turned it forty-five degrees with one end close to the center window.  Now it feels spacious coming from the family room side,

and also spacious approaching from the kitchen side of the counter.  We can move it out if we need to seat more than three, but it is very heavy. The marble-topped cart is still unobstructed.  It is a little unorthodox and the table is not centered under the light fixture.  I’ll live with it a while and see how I like it.  Andy is delighted with it; he has a great view of the fourteenth tee from his seat.

There’s another project for me.  The table and chair legs have yellowed.  That job is probably going to be way down on the list of things to do.

I saw an odd box in the garage and knew exactly what was inside, without remembering how it got in there. I tried to carry it back into the house but was locked out. I opened the garage door and got back in the house through the front door.  I took it into Andy’s office and he opened it.  He remembered that the swordfish carving had been broken and didn’t think we still had it. Neither of us remembered that we had it repaired at Buck Woodcraft in Marathon years ago. The box had “Buck Woodcraft” packing tape on it.  We set it on the corner of Andy’s desk and I forgot to take a picture of it.

I’m tired.  We are going to take it easy tomorrow.  Going to the motor vehicle office to get new registrations for the car and motorhome at 0830.  Then Rick Griffen, a work associate of Andy’s is coming to visit late morning.  Then we need to take the car in for an oil change at 1600.  That leaves precious little time to empty boxes or wash stuff. Oh darn.



More Than Halfway Moved

We drove from Prince Frederick, MD to Mechanicsville, VA on Friday evening and got a hotel room near the Home Depot where we picked up our rental truck on Saturday morning.  Tom and I were both excited to drive the big truck. It took us about an hour to drive to our storage unit in Tappahannock, VA.  Daughter Kathy was there to visit and help us. The professional movers were half an hour late. We used that time to drag things out of the storage unit.  I had bought and set up some moving boxes to pack the odds and ends we have thrown in there over the years.

The movers were two big strong men.  We were in awe of all the boxes they could carry.  It took about three and a half hours to load the truck and we were on our way south. We made it to Wilson, NC in time for dinner at Bill Ellis Barbecue. We spent the night at a motel along the interstate and reached the new house at sunset on Sunday, October 8.  I backed the car off the tow dolly and Tom disconnected the dolly from the truck. We drove the car to the motorhome for a night’s sleep.

When we drove back to the house in the morning we could see that the Cranes had moved into 3737. Four of them were in the nook between the front door and the garage. They did not leave when Tom got close to take pictures or when Andy unlocked the front door.

Two movers arrived right on time. We had already begun unloading smaller items. We told them to put any boxes with Andy’s name on them in his office.  Boxes labeled kitchen and dining room were self-explanatory. I led them to the spots where I wanted the furniture placed.  Everything else (many, many boxes) went into the garage. They had the truck empty in two hours.

On Tuesday morning, we returned the rental truck and drove to Home Depot to buy ceiling fans.  I had intended to do that later, but Tom kept mentioning them.  On the advice of everyone who we talked to about fans, we got one for every room.  Tom spent the rest of the day installing them.  That guy really knows how to spend a vacation.

All I can say here is that it was a really nice house before the Misovecs moved in and trashed the place.

The family room furniture looks pretty good in the new family room. It held up fairly well in storage but is a bit dusty and slightly musty.  The cushions were somewhat squashed by things piled on top of them, but I think they will survive.  I’ll have them cleaned after the next load arrives so I can get it all done at once.

The kitchen table is a dilemma.  I turned it ninety degrees to make room for the tall table in the background.  I really love that marble top.  I may turn the table forty-five degrees to see if that fits better. I love my kitchen table too.  It’s where Daughter Jennifer did all her homework.

Tom was having a grand vacation installing ceiling fans.  This one is in Andy’s office.

There were so many boxes and pictures in the dining room that I didn’t know how we would get the furniture in. Tom rearranged it later to make room for the table and china cabinet.

Wednesday, Tom installed the last two fans, this one is in the sewing room.

I have Gran Thorn’s settee in the parlor.  Jane Moulton’s end tables flank it and Mrs. Evan’s coffee table is in front of it.  Daughter Jennifer has laid claim to the settee.  She’ll have to come pick it up to get it.  It is a lovely piece of furniture, stuffed with down.

I put Mrs. Evans’ desk in the front corner and added the chair Mother Moulton gave me for my birthday years ago.

When we were unloading the storage unit, I almost unloaded this corner cabinet.  It seemed too big for the small room. I did not care for it in the Moulton dining room but just love it in my parlor.  I’m so glad I did not sell it to the antique dealer in Tappahannock.

Back to the kitchen.  I decided I could not live without this marble-topped cart.  It has to stay there.

Andy was having quite a time of opening boxes of books and papers.  He found his masters and Ph.D. theses and diplomas. I put the rug from the boat salon on the floor, but he has not mentioned it.

No matter how many boxes I empty, there are still more.  I am washing all the dishes, pots and pans, utensils, and, well, everything. It was all clean when I packed it up seventeen years ago but has accumulated a layer of dust since then. It must be the newspaper wrapping disintegrating.

This is the view going from the laundry room to the garage.

I discovered three men outside digging a ditch and laying cable from the street to our house.

This is what the garage looks like from outside.

Once the fans were installed, Tom and I assembled the trellis.  He did most of it; I helped.

The trellis has had a storied life so far.  Remember we followed the UPS truck to ask if he had a package for us?  He told us he would not have delivered it if we had not stopped him because we did not have a house number at that time.  Then, a week or so ago, I caught John McDaniels, the construction superintendent, carrying the trellis to the dumpster (just in time to stop him).  He thought a contractor had left it in our driveway. Today, just as Tom finished putting the screws in the trellis, Andy noticed movement outside.  I opened the door to find a man digging a hole for our temporary mailbox with a post-hole digger.  I saw that he was driving an Earthscapes truck and asked him if he would dig two holes for my trellis.  He said, “Sure”. We had the trellis installed in short order.  I forgot to take my camera outside to take a picture so that will come another day.

Finally, Tom started acting like he was on vacation. We went to the pool for a few hours.  Andy and Tom swam laps while I lounged in the resort pool and hot tub. Tom is a graceful swimmer; he went to college on a swimming scholarship.

After his swim, Tom did the lounge-in-the-sun thing for a while.

Today, we worked in the morning. Andy unpacked books, Tom flattened the cardboard boxes for recycling, I unpacked kitchen boxes and washed more dishes.  Then we took Tom to Mellow Mushroom for a mighty fine pizza for lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the pool so Tom could act like he is on vacation some more. Andy does his laps with a mask and snorkel.

Tom was swimming with his sunglasses on.

We sat out back and watched the sunset over the 13th green.

Tom took a picture of us.

Moving Madness

Wednesday was as smooth and pleasant as could be.  We met John McDaniels, the construction superintendent, at the house at ten o’clock.  We went through the entire house inch by inch.  He was marking spots with colored sticky dots.  Things we didn’t see any problem with. He had red for drywall and blue for paint.  Or, maybe, that was the other way around.  He tested every window, blind, light fixture, water faucet (hot and cold) and all the appliances. He talked about everything we might need to know.  He made a list of things to be done and we signed it. We even got a box of pint-sized paint cans labeled, e.g. inside walls, outside walls, front door, inside trim.

Andy and I got sandwiches and Subway and then went to the sales office for the closing.  That was also extremely easy and pleasant. Sign, sign, date, sign, sign, sign, ……… We were presented with a gift bag with Arlington Ridge coffee mugs, key rings, car tag, etc.  Then we went to the community association office for our electronic keys for the amenities (clubhouse, pool, gym, etc.) We could not get a car pass for the front gate because we did not have a registration for the car.  I don’t know where it went, the last time I remember seeing it was when that guy ran into the side of the car in Marathon last winter. Maybe the policeman forgot to give it back.  Maybe it blew away in the wind.

Then we hit the road in a northerly direction.  Got well into South Carolina before we stopped for the night. Of course, we stopped at Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson, NC for dinner.  Finally, we reached Sister Barbara’s house in Prince Frederick MD somewhere between five and six this evening.  Bella, the Boxer, was SO HAPPY to see me!

We are here to pick up Brother-in-Law Tom, who will help us with the move.  We will head south as soon as he gets home from work tomorrow. We’ll pick up the rental truck and unload the storage unit in Tappahannock VA on Saturday morning.  I have two professional movers to do the heavy work.

I’ll give an update next time I have a chance.

Ready to Close the Deal

The bird was still fighting the bird in the bathroom window this morning.

We went to the bank to get a cashier’s check for the closing tomorrow. Then we ate lunch at the Village Tavern.  We would normally have eaten on the restaurant side, but it was closed due to a  fire suppression system failure last week.  They are still cleaning up the foamy mess in the kitchen. The bar side was only serving hot dogs or cold sandwiches. It was full of golfers making a lot of noise and the air conditioning must have been set for fifty degrees.  That is why I always keep my fleece jacket in the car and take it into restaurants, banks, and doctor’s offices.

When we got back to the house after lunch, two men from Earthscapes were moving the blueberry bushed to thirty inches from the property line. They had been right on the line.  The rule is to assure that the mowers can get between neighboring shrubbery.

They had also replaced the dead Live Oak tree with a much healthier specimen.

They had replaced the six shrubs with the purple flowers (I forgot the name already). They have already replaced these once, so this is the third set. These three are to the right of the driveway.

Three more are in front of the porch. The flowers are beautiful so I hope these live.

They also replaced the Plumbago to the left of the sidewalk and added four little grass-like plants.

The City of Leesburg had delivered a shiny new garbage can and a green (not blue or yellow?) recycle bin.

There are still a few little fixes that need to be made, but we are going ahead with the settlement.  Several of the neighbors have told us that they are very good about fixing things after you move in.

I don’t know if I will be posting anything for the next week or so.  We are leaving for Virginia after the closing tomorrow to move our belongings that have been stowed in a storage unit for years. We should be gone for about six days.  A week or two later, we will take another trip to Maryland to pick up furniture from three houses. If I survive all that, I’ll make another post.



Toilet Paper and Tortoise

We don’t expect to see much going on at the house at this point, especially on a Saturday. But, we don’t want to miss anything if someone does do something.  Someone had been there; a light was on in the hall, the laundry room, the garage, and in the small attic space above the garage.  The pull-down stairs were still down. I climbed up to have a look but did not see anything new.

A bird was having an epic battle with itself in the shower stall window. It kept flying into the window and pecking its reflection over and over.

We did find a change.  The toilet paper holder had been installed in the bathroom by Andy’s office.

We saw a huge tortoise (I think it’s a tortoise, anyway) crossing the road in our RV park. I didn’t have a ruler with me and am guessing the shell was fifteen inches from front to back.

When I stood in front of it to take a picture, it would lie down.

Then, it would take off again in a hurry.  This tortoise was no slow poke. That’s a look of determination.


Joe and Linda Coffey, and then John McDaniels

Big Day today.   Joe and Linda were traveling from Michigan to their Florida home in Port Charlotte.  Last night, they took the auto-train from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida. Then, this morning, on the last leg of their journey, they stopped in to visit us and check out the new house. We had planned to eat lunch in the restaurant here in the neighborhood, but the automatic fire extinguishing system in the kitchen malfunctioned last night.  The restaurant was closed while they cleaned up the foamy mess.  We toured the Village Green and then drove to our house.

It was fun walking around from room to room talking about features, pros and cons, their house, and houses in general.  So, the tour took a while.  Linda presented me with a small house gift which I am going to use often.  It is a little leaf-shaped tray with two small bird salt and pepper shakers. Salt and pepper do not get much cuter than this.

We went to the Oakwood Smokehouse for a nice lunch with more than we could eat.  Slick Joe snapped up the checks and handed them and his credit card to the waitress before Andy could catch him.  Thanks for lunch Joe and Linda.  Now we’ll meet that first house payment!

Andy and I decided to stop back by the house before heading back to the motorhome.  We had just walked inside when Andy noticed that a pickup truck had pulled up in front of the house. I re-opened the front door and recognized the construction supervisor, John McDaniels.

As he walked up the driveway, John bent down to pick up a few pieces of construction debris.  Then he picked up the box containing the trellis for the jasmine next to the garage wall.  I called out, “What are you going to do with that?” He replied that he was going to throw it into a dumpster. “That’s MINE!”  He stopped in his tracks and, apparently was not making sense of the situation. I explained that I had bought it and the landscapers were going to install it for me.  He decided to put it next to the jasmine where it should be safe.

He said he had come to make a few small repairs and I told him I would take pictures of him working.  He objected, saying that if they knew he could do that stuff, he might end up doing it all the time.  He was a master at adjusting the bi-fold closet doors.

In the master bath:

In Andy’s office:

In the sewing room:

He checked them all.  Then he installed the missing hardware on the pocket door to the guest room.

There was a funny episode Andy missed in the garage.  I led John in there to see the breaker panel box. I had pointed it out to Linda earlier.  I could not get the door to latch and stay closed. She tried it and could not get it to stay closed either.  About a second after closing, it would pop back open again.

John closed the door and it stayed closed.  I opened it and closed it again.  It popped open.  He closed it.  I opened and closed it again. It popped open.  Several more times. John started snickering. I declared, “You are laughing at me!!”  He tried to hold it back, “No, I’m not”.  But, then he could not hold it in any longer.  Open. Close. Open, close, pop. Laugh.  Close.  Open, close, pop. Laugh. I WAS squeezing.  I WAS pushing. Finally, John grabbed the frame of the door and pulled it outward.  I closed it and it stayed closed. Both of us returned the house laughing at our private comedy routine.