Friday, March 26, 2010

Drinking Wine From a Dixie Cup

We've moved!

After weeks of packing, condensing, organizing, and trying to prepare for the big day it is now behind us and all our of stuff is currently sitting in boxes in our new place (or in my car, still)

Sunday and Monday night we were at the Queen Anne apartment spackling, touching up paint, vacuuming and cleaning every last nook and cranny.

And you know what I've learned in all this?

No matter how organized you think you are, you're still going to wind up throwing a wayward shoe you found under the bed, a half-used bottle of shampoo, a too-late discovered library book and a box of spaghetti all in one box.

And, no matter how clean you think you are, you'll still find dirt in the windowsill and spatters on the stove.

That's life. Messy, dirty, and at the end of the day further under your fingernails than you're comfortable with.

Here's a couple shots during the pack up.

Roy would not stop itching a hot spot on his tummy and I got so fed up with him I put a t-shirt on him.

He wears it well.

And here's Mr. Matt helping pack up the kitchen...or something like that.

Friday evening Matt and I headed over to the New Place, signed the lease, did a quick walk through and unloaded our first batch of stuff. Mostly fragile stuff that I get nervous and fidgety about when I think of it riding in a Budget truck or important stuff that we'll need right away.

So basically, our china and the toilet paper.

so nice and clean! (for now)

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear, thank goodness. Our ever-so-appreciated friends Stephanie and Peter turned up and with their help we began moving our stuff from the apartment to the hall, from the hall to the elevator, and from the elevator to the truck.

Stephanie and I began the day upstairs tying up loose ends, but one trip down to the truck after a "It's getting full" from Matt told us we were more needed there.

We love our men, we really do, but for whatever reason their packing skills...well...are a bit lacking. You want a computer fixed? Peter's your guy. What kind of jacket do you need to scale Everest? Matt's your man. Both can carry massive loads without so much as a grunt, but ask them to play Tetris and they might have some issues.

The "almost full" 16' Budget truck had almost no floor space left, but things were only stacked a box or two high...

Enter Stephanie.

In ten minutes items were wedged and moved and rearranged to clear up half the truck space and pack everything in for a nice, cozy ride. She should seriously consider a career as a moving van packer, because she did an amazing job!

By two-ish we were starving, tired, and ready to head south. Stephanie and Peter headed off to Costco to grab lunch and Matt and I were off to the new place.

Now, you may be wondering in all this hullabaloo where the Roy Boy was.


My dog went skiing while we sweat and grunted and moved our stuff. Matt's friend John took his dog Cooper and our Roy up to the mountains and they would hike up a mountiain and while John skiied down Roy took full advantage of his webbed paws and ran/slid downhill.

As John said, "Roy is so much better behaved after an hour of running through the snow!"

At the new place, after a quick lunch and a promise for the zillionth time to Steph and Peter that we'd return to Queen Anne to visit (I promise!), we began the process of unloading. Mark and Sara--the couple who own the house--graciously helped us out and the unload process went much faster than the loading process!

Aaaaaaaah! Chaos!!!

And that's when you pour your wine in a dixie cup, pop a squat on the floor since there's no couch and listen to the rain fall. And did it EVER fall! Not on moving day, thank the good Lord. But Sunday and Monday we had a downpour like I've never seen!

Monday I was home with a migraine (guess I should mention I had it since Saturday morning...ah the joys of eating unhealthy and getting no sleep), and realized the rain was getting louder and louder.

Then I looked outside.


Roy wasn't sure what to think of this stuff...

Inside, he has claimed his own spot on the stairs where he can survey everything and still listen to the kids upstairs.

And at the end of the first night, I looked over to see my men snuggling...awww...

That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for the next update, "In the Land of Two Names."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It starts.

That period during a move where nothing will be tidy, neat or uncluttered.

For a while.

Sure the bed can stay made and we work on keeping the bathroom counter clear, but this morning I woke up with wonky hair and when I went to grab a Velcro roller to fix my wayward bangs I found I had packed all of them. I packed bobby pins my hair looked a bit "off" today.

I like everything to have a "home." The bottle opener, for instance, lives in a nice cozy slot in the far right hand drawer of the kitchen. The pens live in their pen cup on the desk, the keys hang on the rack by the door. But what happens when I pack the bottle opener, the pen cup and the key rack? I need a pen and it's lying haphazardly around just waiting to get lost! Dear me...

Its times like these I need to plop myself down on our temporary futon-couch littered with throw blankets and a dog toy and remotes, pour myself a glass of wine in a cup I haven't stowed away, prop my feet up and ignore the mess my house is for 2.5.

So hi, y'all.

Let me clue you in as to a few of the things I've learned over the past week or so. About downsizing.

Its not that we're moving to that much drastically of a smaller place (was that grammatically correct?). Its more about wanting to live with less. Less clutter, less stuff taking up less space on walls. So I looked around at what could go.

I spotted our DVD stand.

Hmmm. Those boxes take up a bit of room...what if I got rid of the stand altogether and put the DVDs in...a case?!

Look at that! We only had the top three shelves full of DVDs but it filled up two garbage bags of their boxes! And all the DVDs fit nicely in that black case you see perched there on top. That case now lives in the entertainment center. And the DVD rack? Sold it on Craigslist...

Let me tell you of another revelation.

We have a coffee table ($20 at the Value Village, baby) with storage in the middle. I've been wanting to use it to keep our board games in, but they all just wouldn't fit! Then I read somewhere that you don't necessarily have to keep the boxes every single game comes in.

Whoa. Heavy stuff.

I got out some ziplock bags, tossed out a few over-sized boxes and all of our games and cards fit in the coffee table with room to spare.

Yet another shelf is emptied!

That's all my pearls of wisdom for the day. 'Till next time, this is the Packing Palmers, signing off!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Things We'll Miss...And Things We Won't...

As we're beginning to pack up my truckload of books, I realize there are things I'm definitely going to miss about living in our current place. One is the view we have:

I mean, seriously, who get a view like that in their early twenties?! Oh wait, I guess I was spoiled and went to Point Loma where I had an ocean view for 3 out of 4 years...what can I say I'm used to it now?

The downside of this view is cropped out though - the train yard in Interbay. When we first moved in I think I got heart palpitations from the thundering BOOOMS of trains joining up. Three in the morning and I would think a bomb had gone off in Interbay.

Or there's the braking...I'm not sure which is worse. The brakes emit a long, super-high pitched EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE that's comparable to fingernails on a chalkboard. Either one I won't be missing much...

As of this morning we've already sold our couch and overstuffed chair, a DVD rack, and our headboard and footboard. And technically we've sold the futon although our friends Stephanie and Peter are letting us hang onto it until we get closer to the move date so we actually have someplace to sit.

For the first week we just bummed it out on the floor.

Roy thought it was just a giant bed for him...

And speaking of my Roy Boy, let me tell you of a little adventure we had in the elevator the other day.

First let me introduce Theo. Theo is a stout, medium-sized terrier who lives one floor below us. The owner is the nicest lady, and when Roy's not around Theo is great. But Theo has something against Roy...and the lady never keeps him on a leash. One time Matt was walking Roy into the parking garage and Theo just charged. Luckily Matt was able to avoid a scuffle, but for whatever reason Theo just does not like our Roy.

That said, I was coming back from a walk and waiting for the elevator. It opened and there was the lady and Theo...luckily the lady was holding onto Theo's collar but he went all savage on us and began barking and growling and all that stuff. I smiled and waved and said we'll catch the elevator on the way back and the lady smiled back.

A minute or two later a gentleman had joined me waiting for the elevator and it opened and we got constantly trying to teach Roy some elevator manners. Namely not poking his nose into grocery bags. The man got off on the fourth floor, and right as the door was about to close to take me to the fifth Theo bolts into the elevator.

Theo and Roy went nose to nose, absolutely silent.

Oh crap, here it comes...I thought.

Then Theo charged, teeth bared. Instincts kicked in and with my left hand I swung Roy around behind me into the corner of the elevator and with my right foot I caught Theo by the throat.

I stood like that, balancing on my left foot and fending off Theo with the right all the while keeping my 85-pound dog cornered behind me and my right hand waving in the air to keep my balance.

How the HECK am I doing this??? raced through my mind.

Then the elevator began to close.

no no no No N0 NO

What could I do? The way I was standing the buttons were behind me. Do I drop the foot keeping Theo at bay to hit to Open Door button? I strained with my right hand for the button still balancing on one foot as Theo continued to savagely growl and lunge and just before the door closed... arm stuck inside and the lady wedged herself into the stubborn door and grabbed Theo by the collar, apologizing profusely.


And that's one more thing I won't miss.

Going to Golden Gardens dog park and seeing the Sound at sunset. I will miss...but we can always drive over there.

For the next couple of weeks the Morning Cup is going to be mostly about the Big Move. As we've been preparing we're realizing we don't need all this stuff. Its clutter, and to be cheeky its cramping our style. I mean, do we really need everything that's crammed in our closets? Quite frankly, no. So we're downsizing. I had five large bags of clothing to give away. And my closet still looks full!

I actually gave away books.

Please pick your chin up from your desk.

My reasoning was if it was something I picked up for 50 cents and wanted to read "someday," but its been sitting around longer than a year...chances are I can find it for 50 cents somewhere else when I really decide to read it. Or I can check it out from the library.

It went like this: red leather copy of Pride & Prejudice I bough in Wales? Keep.

Circa 1970's paperback version of Virgil's Aeneid I bought for a dime 5 years ago? Give away.

I've been obsessively reading every simple life and uncluttering blog and website there is, and maybe I'll even share some of the things I've learned with you.

That's all for today, folks! 'Till next time: Less stuff more life!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Last Day of the Challenge - Day 54

Wow, two weeks since I posted! And a lot has happened in two weeks. Another earthquake in Chile that was so powerful it literally shook the earth from its axis. Another quake in Taiwan. My mom even got one in Oklahoma (oh, and a tornado an hour away to boot). The earth is quite literally groaning.

A lot of big changes have gone on in the Palmer household in the past two weeks.

First of all we are moving!

Yup, in a little over two weeks we'll be loading up and headed a bit south to the Renton Highlands to live in a one bedroom apartment that's the bottom floor of a house. On the top two floors live a young Christian family with 3 boys. We're excited A)to pay a lot less rent! B)that Matt will only be 10-15 minutes from work as opposed to 45, C)to be closer to hiking trails and lakes, and D)to get to know this awesome family!

The apartment is a one bedroom, which as most of you know, means we won't have a designated guest room anymore. By no means does this imply we don't want company anymore! As long as we ever have floor space y'all are welcome even if we lived in a shack in the woods! We'll still have a blow-up bed, a sofa bed, and a tent to pitch in the backyard if we REALLY run out of room!

We've (okay, maybe just I) launched ourselves into a purging mode. Getting rid of all the excess, unused, cluttered stuff that fills our house. Condensing, cleaning, clearing.

But I'm getting offtrack. You want to hear about the end of the challenge, right?

Well here's Day 45 or something like that, and if you ever want to see a dorky picture of me here's your chance. I was REALLY bored of the smile at the camera thing by this point.

Here's Day 45, and Mom? Remember when I said "Smile, you're going to be on the Morning Cup with me?" Here you are! Oh, and this thing I'm working on is Roy's new toy box...but more on that later...

Day 49 I was wishing I could go back to sleep for a few more hours. Where's that off button for your brain again?

Here Day 52...the day after we sold our couches. Forgive the unsightly slouching but I was can just call me Grace.

And the last picture record of the challenge ends on a look back at one of the spotlighted charities: Krochet Kids. This is the supercute shirt I ordered from them...its a unisex shirt and Matt wants his own in blue (and a size larger, obviously).

Day 53

Day 54 I thought I was done and realized when I got to work that the sweater I had put on had been "drying" in the spare room for a long time and actually hadn't been included in the I inadvertently kept it going!

So that's it folks. I went 54 days without repeating a top and that's pretty disgustingly impressive in a warped way. I now have four giant bags full of clothes to give away or donate, making it even more shockingly astonishing.
And in case you're wondering, yes I did keep my original promise on Day 1.
And even though the challenge is over, let's not forget that many people in Haiti are still living in sheet tents, without work, without access to fresh water or latrines, and are still suffering the effects of the earthquake. Please keep them in your prayers.