I apologise for the silence. We have been packing, and cleaning, and cleaning, and packing, and repairing, and moving (some things). Our big move is scheduled for a week from now, and that just so happens to be when I will be out of state doing some training, so Noel gets to deal with five hysterical animals all by himself.
I just get to spend the weeks beforehand getting things organized, making floor plans for where furniture will go, colour coding the boxes and the plans, and so on.
It's been 13 years since we had to make a whole-household move (moving a subset of our household down to San Luis Obispo while I was in school really doesn't compare). It's going to be good to be moved, and have a house that is not under construction to go home to at night, and especially to live in a house with functional windows for the first time in 13 years, but in the meantime the actual moving is no fun at all.
The house we are renting is old Naval officer's housing out at the decommissioned Alameda Naval Air Station. It's a sweet modernist house -- not midcentury but straight modernist -- in the playful postwar style. It also went through years of being abandoned and now is being managed with generally benign neglect by a local property management company for the city while the city argues about what to do with the base land. The houses are generally relatively inexpensive to rent, and they allow any number of pets, which is pretty much the only deal in town if you have multiple dogs.
The one we are renting is, like the rest of them, in poor repair, and to some extent that is fine and expected, but some things were non-starters.
For one thing, the previous occupants had two large dogs who lived in the back yard, and whose poops literally carpeted the place. Imagine if you never ever picked up after your dog and you lived in a place maybe 1-2 years? That's what that yard was like.
Those dogs were also diggers, so today Noel and I went over and I spent HOURS picking up all the poops and filling in holes, and then we cleared up all the apples that had fallen off the two apple trees (yay for apple trees, though they are suffering from the drought) and were just lying around on the ground.
I'm actually looking forward to doing some gardening back there now that it's not paved in dog poops.
For another thing, the garbage was a mess. For some reason, some people seem to be just incapable of using the trash cans the right way. It's pretty simple: if it can be recycled, it goes in the blue bin. If it can be composted, it goes in the green bin. Otherwise it goes in the black bin. But the trash bins were a mix of jumbled stuff including a massive bolus of ashes mixed with garbage in the green bin. Plus the rental agency left a bunch of trash out front and never picked it up after they "cleaned" the place.
So we sorted the trash. Noel had more patience than I do and actually got the bins sorted out, then we went through the pile of trash together to get all the recyclables out so our trash isn't stuffed completely for the next several weeks. We don't generate a lot of trash, but we do make some, and we'd like to be able to throw it in the bin. That was a jolly time.
Noel also repaired the sliding glass door by replacing the rollers on the bottom (they were completely missing), and we installed a curtain over the glass front door so the place felt a little less exposed.
Over the last week we've made a couple runs over there to bring things we don't want the movers touching (my terraria and spinning wheels), or that they won't move (our oil lamps for power outages, for example).
This should be an interesting move for us; the house is gigantic. It's a 5-bedroom, 4-bath house with maid's quarters. We wanted a smaller house but rentals out at the base are handed out in a totally bizarre and closed-curtained process, so this is the one we ended up with. We'd planned on getting one of the 3-bedroom bungalows and using two rooms as storage, but we don't even really need to store anything in this house. This is going to be an opportunity for us to pare down what we own even more, because we'll have plenty of room to spread out and really see what we have and use.
And there is the old adage that three moves is as good as a fire. I'm going to use these moves as a way of getting rid of the stuff that has accumulated in the house. I started this off by getting rid of a bunch of stuff at a garage sale earlier this summer, and we've got even more that we will sell or donate after we've moved (we'll basically move out around it). Finally, our plan right now is that when the house is done and we can move back, we will only move the things we know we want to keep and have a place for, and the rest we will get rid of. If we have to handle everything we own twice in a one year, let's take this opportunity to make sure we really want to keep those things.
This is the long way of saying that moving has eaten my brain, plus I'm in the middle of cramming in a bunch of work this week so that I can pay attention during that training I'm going to be away at, and I already used up all my pre-written kitchen design rants, so things might seem a little quiet here for a couple of weeks while everything in the world explodes around us.