Sunday, December 29, 2013
When I packed the kitchen at the old place I found my cookie cutters from long ago. I considered tossing them, since they hadn't been used in more than 10 years. But I have a new reason to make cookie cutter cookies.
I love this Grandma gig. I get to do all the fun kid-stuff again!
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Enough with the drama.
It's sufficient to say we found a *local*, local moving company, and they were open half day on Sunday. They went out of their way to accommodate us, rescheduling another move to meet our deadline. My husband took another day off from work and we moved on Monday. It was a l-o-n-g day, but 10 hours later we were out of the rental. Oh yeah... and we never even saw the landlord. We dropped the keys in the mail. A week later we started to see headway being made.
Now I turned my thoughts toward family coming for Christmas on the 28. A Christmas to remember for sure!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
More than a month before the move my husband made an appointment with a moving company he found on the Internet called USA Local Movers dot com. They were slated to arrive Saturday the 14th at 9 am. That's why we'd tried so hard to get the new place ready.
Imagine how *SHOCKED* we were when they called Friday night at 5 pm and said they weren't coming. Say WHAT?!!
So I'm here to tell you, when a website says Local, please check the physical location. It turns out USA Local Movers is actually at the another end of our state. They said they could come on Tuesday. We were fit to be tied. Our lease at the old place expired Saturday and the utilities were being turned off. What the heck did they think we were going to do until Tuesday?
I'm usually a calm person, known to pretty much 'go with the flow' and keep things moving; but that day I reached my limit. I have never, that I can recall, given someone a piece of my mind, but you can be sure I did that day. And I promised USA Local Movers that I would tell everyone I met what kind of customer service they provided. Wow.
We made several desperate calls and a few friends with pick-ups came to help us Saturday. We made a couple of trips and set up our bed at the new house. We found out moving companies are closed on weekends. We scoured the Internet and the white pages looking for someone that was open Sunday. We worried the landlord would slap another month's rent on us for going over the lease date. We didn't sleep.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Over the next several days we traveled to and from the new house. Due to the record breaking low temperatures, the roads remained icy for weeks. They were passable for a few hours in the middle of each day. We were able to clean using snow melted in a pot on a borrowed propane camp stove. This also provided water for flushing the toi. Good thing we have camping experience!
We thought we were being proactive by turning off the water main at the end of Saturday work day. It helped - our house pipes didn't burst, but the pipe between the street and the house did. Then we were also without water.
It was days before I could hire a plumber, get the water turned back on and return to meet the carpet cleaner. We didn't find out until later that this was the worst weather Brooktrails has seen in more than 20 years. We thought it was our inexperience in dealing with conditions that was causing our headaches. Welcome to the joys of home ownership... Yay.
Three days after we moved in I attended a Christmas potluck at the community center. People were welcoming and very friendly and EVERYone had a story to tell about the storm and its effects. Many people had broken pipes. Others had landed in snow banks and fared worse than we did. We had at least received the hospitality of strangers. Welcome to Brooktrails!
Saturday, December 07, 2013
You know that expression? "Best laid plans of mice and men." We'd planned a workday to prep for moving day where we would clean, shampoo the carpets and paint. We had friends and family that were going to come and help. There would be laughter, food shared and memories made...
Well not so much. The roads were bad so we didn't ask anyone to come that didn't feel up to it. It was /really/ cold in the house. We didn't have any hot water, so cleaning was a challenge. I heated water in the electric kettle, since the range was gas, still no propane. The guys prepped and painted. We were camping out in our new house, trying to get it ready.
Janine braved the roads and came anyway. Her cheerfulness was so wonderful.
We made some headway.
These pictures taken by my son at the old house. He finally made it through to us, Saturday mid-morning. It helps to have 4 wheel-drive. We were able to meet the satellite installation tech, but the cleaning and painting we had planned was slowed down by the lack of heat in the place. The propane wouldn't be turned on for another week. The electric heaters kept the main room in the low 60's, so it was do-able.
It snowed, then rained, then froze. The weight snapped a large branch off the pine tree which broke the fence. But hey, it's not our problem because we don't live there anymore!
The starlings were still in the field out back.
I wish we'd taken pictures of the new house in the snow. It was so picture-postcard-pretty under the redwood trees; but our minds were set on overcoming some of the set backs we were having.
Friday, December 06, 2013
We received the keys to our new home Friday, December 6th at 4:30. "Congratulations!" The agent said it was the smoothest escrow she'd even been involved in. The lender also thanked us for being a pleasure to do business with. "You guys were great!" We were surprised, but I guess not everyone does their homework or turns in their paperwork on time. Things had gone so smoothly.
That afternoon it began to snow in our valley. Something it.never.does. And the new home is at a higher elevation. We decided we should risk the drive and at least take electric heaters to the house to keep the water pipes from breaking.
When we got to the house the electricity was out and the interior was 36 degrees and dropping. Now what do we do? It turned out it was a power outage due to the storm, not the electric company forgetting to turn the power on as scheduled. A few minutes later, we had power. Okay, good. Let's go. We were supposed to meet our son at the old house who was driving up to help us with our workday the next morning.
We tried to retrace our tracks, but the road was too slippery. We were trying to climb a hill and the wheels just spun in place; then we started to slide backward down the hill. That was the worst moment. We crept back to our house, left the car and hiked to the house next door and introduced ourselves to our new neighbors -- who offered us a place for the night. They were listening to the ham radio and reports said road conditions were worsening due to the freezing rain.
The area doesn't have cell phone reception, so my phone was of no use. Thankfully we were able to use the neighbor's land line to reach our son and let him know why we weren't going to be there and how to get into the old house.