Thursday, July 30, 2009

the curtain

Warning: Gratuitous pictures of completely mindless knitting ahead! Want complicated stitchwork? Come back another time...
Old houses have lots of quirks. Ours lacks a first floor powder room. (washroom/half bath, etc. choose your own vocabularly here..) As a result, the second story bath that we use daily needs to be clean and well maintained.

This bath has a fabulous old mosaic tile floor. At the very least, I need to clean the heck out of it. At best, it's time for some restoration. Some of the corner tiles are loose or missing. I'm not a mosaics crafter but I may become a mosaics repair specialist sometime soon.

The room also has two windows which overlook a busy street. They clearly needed a curtain so we could, ahem, do private bathroom things. For the first few days, I hung a Kenyan batik cloth on the windows. (I use it as a picnic blanket and it was in the car for the trip. Lucky.) However, when I did that the room became so dark as to be claustrophobic. Time to consider plan B.

Plan B: I had a lot of sock yarn with me, and a set of circulars. Using Green Mountain Spinnery's fabulous Spinnery Sock Art yarn--which happened to match that mosaic tile, I cast on 40 sts. (Actually, I can't remember what I cast on, but that sounds close.) I knit in garter stitch, checking my progress at the window as I went.

Our theory with old houses is that if they have hooks that look usable, it makes sense to use them. No point in removing old curtain hooks and risking paint flakes, holes in the plaster, etc. to put in new ones. In this case, there were hardware hooks I've never seen before that look like they perhaps held a very skinny curtain rod once at both the top and bottom of the window..perhaps for taut muslin or gauze curtains.

After I finished the first curtain (garter stitch on size #13 needles is speedy like a race) it seemed only logical that I rush on towards the second. After all, without furniture, there wasn't a lot else to do other than walk the dogs...

So, what do these accomplish? 1) They let in light. 2) They obscure things slightly, so that people on the street might not see completely nekkidness if they look up. (nekkidness=nudity if you're northerners. :)

These curtains do not insulate the window, and they probably are not the most modest option I could have chosen. They don't show off any kind of complex knitting talent, which is ok with me. I debated lace, but concluded that lace on big needles equals bigger holes, and, well, I didn't want the neighborhood to see that much!

I figure, come winter, I'll rethink my options if there's a draft or we need something more substantial. In the meanwhile...

The curtains seemed like an interesting metaphor. Lots of things in Winnipeg seem to be about "letting in the light." First, in a concrete way, because it doesn't get dark here until very late at night in the summer time...think 9:30 or 10. There are nights that I've fallen asleep before it gets dark. It gets light early too, which makes for wonderful dog walks between 6-7 AM. By 7:15 AM, forget it, our new neighborhood becomes like dog Grand Central Station. Not an enjoyably quiet meander anymore...

In a more figurative way, I've been so impressed by the efforts Winnipeggers make to appreciate and make the most of the diversity of their human and natural environment. Everyone seems to make an effort to go to the summer festivals and to spend time outside in cafes, exercising, and in parks...even when this summer is unseasonably cool. There's a citywide effort to support fundraising for a new national museum called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. There's fundraising afoot to open an educational butterfly conservatory at Assinibone Park. Not only that, but they were thrilled to meet with the professor right away about enlisting his butterfly expertise for the effort. (in town 2 weeks and suddenly he's needed!)

The metaphor of the window as a way to see out into the world and the curtain (does it enhance or cover up the view?) has really struck me as a way people here see their city. When we explain why we're here...the professor to do research, and me, the writer...many people seem curious and excited about what we'll lend to the cultural/intellectual landscape--either that, or they fake it very well!

Most of the necessities of life are now unpacked. My office is still in boxes and there are definitely a lot of projects ahead. The backyard fence is being built today. I hear there's a "pick your own" raspberry place that's got me excited about a visit. Things around us are at once stimulating, intriguing and --in the home department--hopefully going to settle down soon.

I haven't been knitting since finishing the (totally mindless) curtains. While I don't need to sit down to knit, I do need both hands free, and that's hard to do while unpacking!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

working on it

Your comments are really wonderful...I'm so lucky to have friends like you! For instance, Alison H. understood exactly what how I felt about the permit process for having a moving truck--(oh, how good that they could help me do that quickly!!) Kerry *aka Carolyn*--we still don't have a fence up, although believe me, I want it to happen soon!

This post is photo heavy. Those who know me realize that I'm not overly hung up on interior decoration. I want things to look nice, but am not fixated on the perfect home thing. However, when I see something I like, I want to have it, dang it! That's why I took no fewer than 3 trips to Canadian Tire (a big store) to get two of these leafy vine shower curtains for our bathroom. You see, you need two shower curtains when you have a claw footed tub... and that took several trips. I'm working on the curtains, which will be knitted, of course...more than halfway done with that.

Meanwhile, the professor brought his first load of lab and office equipment to his new laboratory. Due to this fire
in one of the biology buildings, folks in the department are doubled up and sharing space. The professor caught this gorgeous view from his new lab desk. He's setting up his lab as both research laboratory and office. This allows the scientists displaced in the fire to keep using his designated office. While the fire itself (repair costs of 40-50 million dollars...) was a nightmare, the other biology professors came right out to the car to help the professor move in. What a warm welcome!

I can't wait until the rest of the lab stuff is delivered. Right now, this is what our living room looks like. The boxes on the right? Most of them are the professor's. We have a lot of lab supplies and science books in our living room!

The professor saw this canning display at the university book store and knew I'd feel right at home. He shot a photo for me.
I can't even estimate how many kind people have welcomed us to Canada. It's been sort of amazing. Each day has its own challenges, too...a lot of idioms are different here!

The home inspector told the professor:

"You appear to have a problem with eavesdropping."

The professor (and I) immediately panicked. Was there a bug planted in our house!? Could people hear all the (stupid) things we say to each other?

No. We have an actual problem with a lack of "eavestroughs." You know. Gutters. The things that keep rain draining neatly. (Eavesdropping, the phrase, came from someone listening in by standing under the eaves of a house.)

This was plain old funny, but sometimes we just don't have a clue what people are trying to tell us!
We are settling in. Due to a strange coincidence, our new dining room looks remarkably like our old one. The old dining room? Red walls. We didn't choose it, but it was recently painted, so we just lived with it, and grew to like it. So, new dining room? Here it is. For those of you who've eaten in our home before, doesn't this look familiar?!
With all this focus on unpacking, we've missed the Winnipeg Fringe Festival entirely...but soon, we'll have things set up to a point where we can actually check out the city too, I hope!

It wasn't until today that I really began to feel at home. Today we hung our ketubah as well as our mezuzahs. We have a beautiful Italian glass mezuzah that the professor's aunt gave us...we're hoping it will make it through the cold winters here without cracking...but I also love that I feel comfortable enough to put it at the front door. (It's bright blue, which would attract attention, so we avoided putting that one at the front door at our last house. For a variety of reasons, it just didn't seem safe...and now it is!)
Other wonderful signs that this will be a good home? The professor cleaned out a closet and found a set of knitting needles Waiting for me! I unpacked some books, and put the needles with the books...and a beautiful skein of samoyed/Merino yarn, made in Canada, and gifted to me by a new knitting friend. She came by with lots of info about Manitoba, yarn, jam, and cinnamon buns. How fabulous! What a special treat!

This morning, I pushed past the boxes and canned with local Manitoba fruit. One batch each of raspberry and strawberry jam...about 16 jars, all told. Beginning to feel downright homey here!

More soon, I hope. I feel guilty every time I sit down to the computer--there's still more to unpack...

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

bed never felt so good

On Monday afternoon, our moving van arrived in town, but it was too late to go through customs for the day. (The appropriate customs office in Winnipeg works the very civilized hours of 8-4pm.) Early Tuesday morning, we were able to get approval from the customs folk and bring our belongings home. By then, I was longing to see my bed again...we spent a week sleeping on the floor. Even with a foam layer and a wool blanket, the floor was hard! (it did get softer after a week, I was so tired I might have slept on a rock if given the option...)

Then, everything was unloaded off the moving truck. This was somewhat stressful. Turns out one needs a permit to park a moving truck in Winnipeg. The local constable showed up nearly immediately after the moving truck parked in the back lane. (alley)

I had to rush inside and phone to purchase a permit from the Winnipeg Police folk. I've no idea how much it cost, because honestly, I was desperate for my belongings at that point...I think maybe $70 Canadian. This should have been done by the moving company, but I guess they didn't know about it either.

The movers were nice and fairly competent. We've gotten so we know the competent ones from the incompetent ones! The professor helped too so things were mostly unloaded by 4pm or so. Overall, the positives outweighed the negatives, but:
The piano got broken
The wheels/feet got broken off of two dressers and a bedframe.
A couple of other things got damaged.

All in all, not horrible, but definitely the most damage we've ever had in a move. The piano was also damaged in our move to Kentucky and took months to fix. Things will be expedited here because A) we claimed the damage very clearly on our paperwork and B) there are lots of piano restoration folk in Winnipeg. We're hoping that we can have the legs mended but honestly this is a messy one-- it's a good 3-4 inches of completely splintered front legs on a spinet piano. We'll see how this goes. We've used some vise like things to take the weight off of the legs for now.

All 5 spinning wheels (as far as I can tell for now) have come through just fine.

All I could focus on though was getting to sleep in a bed again! It was the first time in a week that I'd slept anyplace other than the floor, so I thoroughly enjoyed that last night. We are digging out our other belongings. I unpacked 4 dish barrels this morning (big boxes of dishes) and I'll unpack a few more boxes--likely spinning and knitting books, in my office, this afternoon.

Kristy (in the comments) is right though--we're in a great area foodwise! We're being sustained through large amounts of take out pizza and gelato. I went shopping today and bought saskatoons (berries like blueberries) at a market that focuses on local foods. After I bought actual food for the refrigerator, I also had to get a frozen yogurt with raspberries pushed into it, in a waffle cone. You know, just to break up the monotony of the gelato diet. :)

Next, we're having some trees trimmed/cut down in preparation for our new fence. The dogs can't wait for the fence. Neither can we...while I enjoy walks, jumping out of that bed and into my clothes for the first walk can be rough. On the floor, 5:30 AM? I was up. Now? The sleeping is easy...until 7 AM at least!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

The saga (err, journey) continues

The part of the story takes us from July 12-15...

Although our night in the Chicago suburbs was lovely, it was not without its challenges. First, we had to find something to eat that could be delivered—we ended up with an Italian style pizza. Not deep dish Chicago style, but good! The dogs were surprisingly good in the 3rd floor hotel room and seemed exhausted. However, Harry the dog still wasn’t quite accustomed to the new routine. As he was nervous, he gulped water at an alarming rate and woke the professor up at 11 and 1 am to go outside.

At 5: 30 am, I took them on the first morning walk. We knew we’d be ruled by our dogs on this journey, but that allowed us to see our travels from a very different angle than usual! Luckily the hotel near Chicago was right by an interesting truck parking lot/business with a lot of sidewalk to explore and a few friendly truckers. I couldn’t believe how cool it was in the morning compared to Kentucky! In Kentucky, I took a morning walk in July and felt happy if it wasn’t already over 75F. In Chicago, it was in the 60’s and breezy.

On we went to Minneapolis….we were slightly better prepared for how the day would go. I drove first and we headed towards Madison, WI for lunch. The professor had been there at least twice, and suggested we head towards the Capitol building to see the weekend farmers’ market. This seemed great! I drove…and drove…

Nearby, we saw a lot of cars. Tents, and crowds…this must be one heck of a farmers’ market, we figured. Maybe we’ll be able to buy lunch there. Well, it turned out that Madison had its once a year Art on the Square event on July 11th and 12th. We didn’t figure this out until we’d leashed up the dogs, walked up the hill and discovered wall o’ people…and a lot of breakable objets d’art.

Have we mentioned how good our dogs were!? We maneuvered out of the crowds as quickly as we could, grabbed street food for lunch, and walked right back down the hill. Feeling oddly unfulfilled, we stopped at Ella’s Deli on the way out of town. The professor sat in the air conditioned car while I rushed in to get a chocolate malted and a mint chocolate chip ice cream soda (for me). This made us happy as we rushed out of town.

There’s not much in the way of cities or excitement between Madison and Minneapolis as far as we could tell but the Wisconsin Dells, an enormous resort area with a lot of highway traffic. We were relieved to make it to Minneapolis, err, actually a suburb called Brooklyn Park.

We took a day’s rest in Minneapolis and spent two nights in the same hotel. The day we spent at the hotel involved: napping (Joanne and both dogs), reading (both humans), some knitting (you know who) and several walks for everybody. We were wrecked with exhaustion after the moving adventures and two full days in the car.

Although we hadn’t planned to visit much with anybody on this “moving” trip because of the time constraints and juggling two dogs, we managed to see a friend in Minneapolis for dessert on Sunday night and dinner on Monday night. The dogs were able to sleep comfortably in their portable crates in our car while we ate in her apartment. Again, we thank our lucky stars for the cool weather in Minneapolis that allowed us to leave the dogs in the car with the windows down in the summer time. (an absolute impossibility in the southern US.)

Tuesday morning, bright and early, we ventured off towards 1) northern Minnesota and 2) Grand Forks. We’d planned to ship the professor’s car but at the last moment, a good friend of ours in Kentucky needed to get to northern Minnesota…and we had a car for him! He left the car at his parents’ vacation cottage on a lake, just a short detour from the highway. We got to meet his family, who fed us apple cake, ice cream, and made us feel very welcome! Then we headed out again, in cold and pouring rain, towards North Dakota.

We got to Grand Forks that evening and again called for food to be delivered. (food by delivery was the norm, as we couldn’t leave the dogs in the hotel rooms alone, and didn’t want to get back in the car.) We checked out a new set of sidewalks, and this time, everyone slept through the night without a problem. We were exhausted…except when someone made noise outside at 2 am. Sally dog told them exactly what she thought of them! We shushed her, but she had a point. They deserved a barking from somebody…

On Tuesday afternoon we heard there was a small problem with our house purchase arrangements and we might not be able to get into the house on Wednesday. We were worried—but so tired that we focused only on crossing the border.

Back in (2) cars on Wednesday at 7:30 in the morning, we drove to the border, got through without any problem, and drove straight to the credit union outside of Winnipeg to straighten out details. Our first official act in Manitoba on this trip involved signing our mortgage papers. Then we grabbed lunch and drove through Winnipeg to meet our real estate agent at our new home in Crescentwood. (near Corydon Ave., if you live in town...)

It’s beautiful! The professor had to go purchase necessities like shower curtains and toilet paper right away. The dogs and I had to walk the neighborhood, rest, and explore our new home. It’s been 1300 miles and 5 days to get here…or over a year, if you count it from last July, when the professor was nominated to be a Canadian Research Chair at the University of Manitoba.

(No sign of our belongings yet, although it's possible that will happen later today or tomorrow...I hold out hope!)

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moving Day to Chicago

Here's a summary of our journey. I'll post in stages, with photos if I have them. As we're now in Winnipeg, this story begins more than a week ago, with moving day, July 10. Before I go answer an important question...our final box count was 362 boxes that we packed ourselves. The movers packed our dishes and other breakables, and that was about 9 more boxes. (and then there was the furniture...) Book box count was probably roughly 60+ boxes of the total, although we don't have an official number on that at this time. (It wasn't an important number for us for customs, so we didn't count it separately!)
We've made it to Chicago.:) The moving truck arrived, we passed our keys to the new owners of our Kentucky home, and we drove 400+ miles today in our car. We're on the way!
Now the professor and I are holed up in a nice La Quinta hotel with two exhausted dogs. (It's been a rough couple of days to be a dog at our house.) Our journey is going well though. We've already placed an order for pizza, since we're in Chicago...!

Everything has really gone as smoothly as one could hope. We've had a couple of unsettling and stupid electronic moments today. One was when my car phone charger appeared broken and I couldn't find my regular charger either. (luckily, I discovered a backup in my briefcase, what forethought!) and the other? I loaded up several audio books on my ipod. I spent (no kidding) hours and hours on this. And?
Today I discovered that it just wouldn't work in my car plug-in itrip thingee, no matter what I did. It worked before, dang it. I got inordinately peeved about this. Luckily, the professor was able to fix the fuse that had broken in the car while we were in Minneapolis…but I get ahead of myself. This electronics thing seemed a sign that I was totally keyed up but can't find anything real to panic about. We did discover an actual CD audio book in the glove compartment that seems tolerable, if dull, so that's good. Bargain sales are good for something...

Yesterday, when the movers were in the house, the dogs had a rough day. I gave them both what I thought was a "vet-approved" sedative. Sally did well, it really helped. Harry had an adverse reaction, which included a lot of twitching, tail chasing, and barking and howling...for hours. I called the vet in the middle of the moving day and found out that there had been a mistake in the medication in the first place! Luckily, she'd also given us a few doggie valiums which didn't erase the problem but took the edge off Harry's reaction. It was still a pretty long day for Harry and he continued to act out until about 1 AM. He also appears to hate the zipper sound on the crates we are using. As best I can tell, that first medicine was like having a really really bad acid trip for dogs+moving anxiety.

All that was rough but we made it through with possibly the most efficient and professional moving crew we've ever had. Also, our friend Nic came over to sit with us/dogs and brought us lunch yesterday. That was just a godsend and added moral support to the incessant howling and barking Harry was doing...which totally rattled me. Meanwhile, Sally was a delight and slept calmly through most things. You never can tell which dog (or child) will have the meltdown, I guess!

Nic kindly made us (and our friend John, who drove the professor's car to Minnesota) dinner and it was so nice and civilized after a long day of movers/chaos. We then went home to sleep on the floor of our bedroom, in sleeping bags. I had to use a wool blanket and a dog towel and the professor's moving clothes to cope with it. The floor is harder than it used to be! Harry did not go along with the game plan though and I had to take him outside at both 11 pm and 1 am. Meanwhile, the professor snored through it all! I woke up by 5:30. I imagine I will sleep well tonight. I hope so, anyway.

This AM, we walked dogs, got breakfast take out at a local café, tidied up the last stuff, and our nice cleaning lady and her husband came over one last time to clean the house and give us a hug and say goodbye. Very kind of them! Then we handed off our keys to the new owners and went on our way. We were driving by 8:45 AM.
Sally demonstrates the portable crate with aplomb
The dogs did remarkably well today. We had a couple equipment failures...we have these neat canvas and metal collapsible crates for the journey. They weigh 10 lbs a piece and collapse into this tiny long rectangular case--it looks like tents for dogs...I thought it'd be easier for us than hard plastic crates. Unfortunately, they take up a lot of room inside our car and we had more extra human stuff than we'd planned. The luggage or the dog put pressure on the spring mechanism on one of the crates and Harry's crate imploded 2 or 3 times. He was ok about it and we fixed it each time. It was all slightly more difficult because we were in the middle of a big lightning storm and a huge downpour. We worked it out. Glad we brought our rain coats though...and that dog towel left in the car came in handy!

The cool breezy damp weather meant we could rush into a Cracker Barrel and eat lunch. We left the windows open and the car under a tree in the shade. The food wasn't anything exotic but they are fast and well, it may be our last chance for a "meat and three" (meat and three veggies) or a vegetable plate. In the South, of course, the four veggie plate I got included: mac and cheese, fried apples, turnip greens (cooked with meat) and cole slaw. That also came with a biscuit. We probably won't be getting that much in Winnipeg. :) (That may be ok since I can't for the life of me figure out why mac and cheese or that meat in the turnip greens are veggies...)

That is most of the news for now. Our Chicago pizza has been delivered! Hurray! This was the story from July 10-11. More on the saga of "The professor and Joanne move 1300 miles across the US and Canada" later...
(and yes. I finally have internet up and running at home in Winnipeg now. The latest is that our belongings will arrive at the customs depot --and then our home--tomorrow. Hurray! Finally, I can stop sleeping on the floor! I can't wait to sleep in my own bed!)

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Saturday, July 18, 2009


We're home. In Winnipeg. Got here on Wednesday, signed all the important papers, and moved right in.

However, we still lack some basic necessities. Like, say, our belongings. We hear those will arrive at the customs depot on Monday, but in the meanwhile, I lost feeling in my tushy and made the professor buy me chairs. Of course, it was a patio set and between that and a grill, it killed an entire day of assembling things.

Between cleaning the refrigerator and other fun new house activities, I haven't had a chance to update everybody on the blog. It also, sadly, doesn't leave all that much time for knitting! The short version is? The dogs did fine. We did fine. We had some wily adventures, as anyone might on a several day, 1300 mile drive. I have even written them down and will post stories soon.

We'll be walking our dogs multiple times a day for the foreseeable future (no backyard fence yet) and despite our best efforts, we still haven't gotten the cable guy to come out and get the phone hooked up. We're working on it. Be back soon. :)

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

it's not the size of the box...

OK, I think this post is about other stuff, but I'm trying to be jokey here... and hence, jokes about box size. Please, add in your own joke to that subject header..I can't even think of one! Willow (I think it was Willow?) asked about our box sizes. The smallest boxes I have packed have been, roughly the size of a canning jar box from the grocery store. The kind with a dozen 8 oz jars--this is a big shoe box size. There are a very few of those, and they are usually packed in larger boxes, so don't count. The largest box size is called a "Wardrobe" box, and I packed cushions, dog beds, pillows, and a king size duvet into one of those. Most of the book boxes are liquor boxes, from our kind local liquor stores. Bowling Green is a "wet" city in a largely "dry" region...loads of liquor stores, all with extra boxes here in town, and people in the rural areas around just shop here for their alcohol, which they can't buy at home.

It's my basic rule that one should never pay for a cardboard box unless desperate. The professor has bought a few filing boxes for other moves through the years. Those uniform boxes seem to organize his moves. I reuse them as office storage until they absolutely die. Some of these are on their 2nd or 3rd move...and now, to a new country! (way more than you wanted to know about boxes, I bet. Who knew that these boxes would travel so far from their first purpose!?)

I've been worried about whether we'll be ready when the moving folks arrive. The packers come tomorrow to pack up the breakables, and the truck comes on Friday. (At least, I hope so, they haven't called to confirm yet...) The professor was packing and cleaning up his lab and saying goodbye to people at the university until yesterday. Today was his first weekday, packing at home. This has caused me great concern, as I was all on my own, but mostly, I just try not to think about it, and pack more boxes... I had 3 done by 10 AM this morning. Oh, and we're up to something in the range of 327 or something, so all estimates may be too low in our guessing game... Oops. I need to wrap this up and go pack up the Cusinart. I've got stuff to do...(but I need rest breaks, too, right?)

When I couldn't sleep last night, I finished the spinning "task" I'd set for myself. Then I closed up this box. I had a great feeling of accomplishment there. Look at all those neat little balls of singles, ready to be plied! Whew. Then I packed up the last spinning wheel...only spindles and a little wool and small knitting projects are travelling with me.

Sally the dog continues to be pretty anxious...very high strung. It's hard to blame her. The professor thinks it will all be just fine. After all, he seemed to infer, when is your desk ever this clean otherwise? (he's got a point.)

Harry's laidback personality continues to amaze me. He's a little more clingy than usual, but nothing interrupts his serious naps. The dog is a napping machine. I am jealous.

This morning I made our last meal here...tuna pasta salad with basil, parsley, garlic greens, kalamata olives, carrots, collards, and tomatoes. It tastes pretty good, which is a plus, considering we're likely to eat it for both lunch and dinner! Now the pots go into boxes, too. Oh--there's also still one last piece of's got my name on it.

Thanks (again) for all your good wishes, cheerful comments, and support. It's been an oasis of friendly comfort, the blog posting/reading of comments, during this chaotic period. I haven't gotten to write everybody back --maybe won't be able to, this time, but I really appreciate your kindness.

Now, back to packing...

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

the last days...

You never can tell...In the midst of packing, I read a great book. It was a 10 cent book I picked up at a used book store in Vermont. At only 10 cents, I started the book figuring it wasn't much of a risk. I didn't expect much. Instead, it lead me into a very thoughtful exploration of women's smart women cope when faced with frustrating options. The book was by Margaret Drabble, published in 1962, and it's called The Summer Birdcage. Although the scenarios have changed slightly, what struck me was this...all these intelligent, Oxbridge educated women finished school and were so disappointed by society's opportunities for women that awaited them. Although things have changed a great deal in some ways, I found myself thinking "Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose.." (the more things change, the more they stay the same.)

After all, why did I end up in Kentucky? (or am moving to Winnipeg, which I'm looking forward to?) The professor's job. I've gotten more used to this now but I was pretty upset the first couple of times I gave up very good jobs to move. We've also gotten better at negotiating this--now the professor knows more about how I feel with each move! (I've also reconciled the fact that I could have kept great jobs --or--the professor. In several cases, it was a tough either/or choice.) Anyhow...that book was unexpectedly packed instead of donated to the library. It was worth keeping--it's an insightful read. Willow asked how many boxes of books we're up to? We think it's a little over 60 boxes of books. After that, we stopped packing purely boxes of books, they are mixed in with other things. Yes, we've got a few books...

The box count is somewhere around 280 now. We continue to pack and things are going smoothly. I've discovered a few quirks that connect to your comments...

Willow also asked what I've been spinning. I finished spinning the chocolate brown Shetland, and I packed up the flyer/whorl and other small parts of the Canadian Production wheel. The way I move wheels is by packing all the small moving parts in boxes of wool or other soft things. Then I watch the movers like a hawk when they wrap my wheels! So far, they've come through moves just fine. (My piano, on the other hand, was dropped in the last move and needed quite a lot of repair is a good thing!)

My very last unpacked wheel is the Majacraft Little Gem. I've been spinning CVM on that wheel, and it looks like this. (that's a skein before I've set the twist.) I've decided that I'll keep spinning that for a few days longer before packing up.

The quirk comes in here...I felt this enormous need to finish things I've been spinning. By finish, I seem to mean that I want to have all the roving/fiber spun for these specific projects. It's ok, in my weird "must be finished" world, to pack unplied singles and skeins that still must be set. (I hear they allow plying of handspun in Canada.) That said, I recognize this is entirely irrational, so whatever, I'm letting myself have this weirdness. A little spinning every day is probably good for me.

Mrs.J asked how the dogs were doing with the packing madness. Umm, that's another quirky thing going on. Although we've kept walks and feedings and crate and bed locations exactly the same, our dogs are showing some understandable stress. They've been blowing coat (losing lots of hair) at an alarming rate. We thought it was the hot weather but the vet suggested it might also be stress. We now know this to be the case...because last night, the combination of a thunderstorm, fireworks, and boxes made Sally growl and bark at our dinner guests. Both of our guests are over at the house all the time, so we know it was just her very immense anxiety. Crate training is a good thing--she calmed down immediately once crated but it was a rough night for her. I tried homeopathic medicine to relieve anxiety today when it was thundering--it did absolutely no good.

We're hoping things will be ok as the dogs travel (in their crates) with us across the country. If it's not ok and the dogs seem hysterical, the vet has prescribed some doggy valium just in case. The dogs (or we?) may need it. Harry the dog, by the way, is still totally fine. He's a type B personality--the only one in this household!

Dinner guests, you say? The "breakables" packers arrive Thursday and the moving truck is coming on Friday...and those people had dinner guests on Saturday night?! Yes, we're crazy. We had a couple of friends over for Independence Day celebrations in the midst of the boxes. I've admitted that will probably be our last set of dinner guests, so today I started packing up the kitchen in earnest. That's probably the last quirk. I want our household to stay normal as long as even with the packing up, today I baked a blackberry peach pie. More pie? (It's the new "normal." I can do it even without a recipe now--as the cookbooks are all packed!)

Got any funny packing moving quirks of your own? New box estimates? Do tell! I'll try to post at least one more time before moving day. (I hope.)

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Canada Day

In honor of Canada Day, I was reminiscing about the fun time we had last year visiting Winnipeg on July 1st. (scroll back to the beginning of July to get my full "first time to Winnipeg" posts.) The professor suggested I tell you this particular story about what's been going on lately.

On Monday, we received an enormous set of papers for buying our new home in Manitoba. Essentially, it was all the papers for closing on our new house from the lawyer. Bright and early on Tuesday morning, we went up to our local credit union branch to do all the signing in front of a notary. The professor wanted to go there particularly because, he explained, they all knew him personally.

The joke was on him when the notary smiled up at me and it was my friend (and talented artist) Myra! The professor is an exceedingly careful person and makes me look downright haphazard. (for those who know me, this is hard to believe but totally true.) So, he insisted on being in charge of all the paperwork, although we both were signing it. All went very well until...

We got to the piece of paperwork that asked for another notary to notarize the authenticity of the first notary's work. No kidding!! Now that's careful! Luckily, this bank had two notaries, and the professor pointed out that notary #2 had opened our bank account with us, six years ago. He again felt glad we'd chosen our local credit union branch. At that point, we were using the services of roughly half the employees!

All seemed great until last night, when the professor went through the paperwork one last time before sending it back northward. Then, he found the other piece of paper we needed notarized.

"No problem!" I said, with a smile. (because I had left it all to him, I was just cooperating...and packing boxes. 12 boxes yesterday..) It was another fun chance to see my friend Myra! Today, we hope, we will be able to send off the house paperwork to Canada.

We can conclude from this:
1) We've got something to learn from Canadians about being extra, extra sure that everything is just right.
2) It's just right that we didn't send out the paperwork yesterday, since everyone is celebrating Canada Day today! No one would have been in the office to receive it.
3) The Yarn Harlot does a far better job of celebrating Canada Day via blogpost, as a Canadian, than I (a US citizen) can. Maybe one day I'll get dual citizenship. I aspire, maybe one day, to being as careful as both the professor and the paperwork that requires that the notary's signature be notarized....but gosh, that's careful!

For now, I'm back to the boxes. We're up to 251. I just packed up the spindles from both of my Great Wheels, so no more spinning on those until they're in my new home. Only 9 days until the moving truck comes...and that's the news.

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