Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rock and Roll

Well, Misha had her Gallbladder taken out today, stones and all, and she's doing well. Aside from spending most of the late afternoon and evening sleeping, she's not feeling much pain other than in her shoulders (which we understand is due more to the anesthesia than the actual surgery).

After the surgery, we came back to the house and once she was settled into bed for a quick nap and some attention from the pugs, I scooted over to the old place to get the last of our stuff out and clean up before the final walk-through at 4pm. Misha's mom is a physician, so she was in good hands while I was gone. The landlord was so impressed with the state of the house, that he's agreed to give us back almost all of our security deposit (less the cost to repair some A/C components that fried when the dogs decided to chew through the wires to the outside unit).

So after many months of counting saturated fats to prevent a gallbladder attack and a month or so of back breaking box moving, it was great to finally have both behind us and with such positive results.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Relative Descent

It’s been a week in the new house and so far so good. We’re not even remotely moved in yet and there are still a bunch of boxes in our garage not to mention a ton of stuff still back at the old place, but at least we’ve made the big move.

And not a moment too soon, because we’re about to have several visitors.

Misha’s mom (Larrian) arrives on Monday afternoon to help us out with Connor after Misha goes in for surgery to remove her gallbladder on Wednesday. It will be the first time she’s back in our neck of the country since just after Connor was born so it will be a treat for the two of them to be reunited, especially after how much Connor has grown. Larrian’s also a crack chef, having written several diet and recipe books, so I know we’ll be well fed. (She whipped up a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast for us and our friends the last time she visited; a feat and favor much appreciated by all in attendance.)

Then on Tuesday my sister (Francine), brother-in-law (Rob) and their 11-month old son (Sam) arrive. They are moving to Charlotte after coming to the same conclusion about Southern California that Misha and I did. (namely: too expensive for the perks) Rob’s only here for a week while they search for a house to buy, but Francine and Sam will be living with us until that house purchase is final. Moving to our new house means that we’ll be able to store all of their furniture and belongings in our basement (or at least in a room that we’re not using yet like the living room).

So with 5 adults, 2 babies and 2 dogs under the same roof, I’m much happier that we’ll all be in our new house. It promises that we’ll be able to live in relative (no pun intended) harmony with enough private space in which to retreat if it starts to feel too crowded.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is it too late for a refund?

It's snowing here. They told us it didn't snow in NC.

Actually, they told us it was usually freezing rain instead which leads to power outages and black ice (which itself leads to traffic accidents and airbag introductions and higher insurance premiums and rental cars.)

All things considered, I'd rather have the snow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Raking leaves is for the dogs

Let me start this post by stating that though I have shoveled snow before, I've never raked leaves. Technically, I still haven't, having purchased a blower/vacuum/mulcher at Home Depot. I mention this not to be completely AR, but because it's semi-important to the story I'm about to unleash upon you.

Like most homes, we have 2 sections to the lawn out front: 1) the large main lawn area and 2) the skinny little Brazilian runway strip between the driveway and the edge of the property. I removed the leaves from the large area about a month ago and left the smaller section undone, mostly because it was such a pain in the arse doing the large area, but also because every time I decide "Tomorrow's the day!", it rains.

Today, with restored vigor and no recent precipitation, I struck out to blow, suck and mulch the rest of the front yard.

Things were going fine until I found the first pile of dog shit. (About 3 minutes in in case you're curious.)

First and only would have been a blessing... Apparently I'm cursed or something. And apparently we've either got roving bands of dogs using that tiny section of my front yard as a communal latrine, or my neighbors have been letting their dogs crap there without bothering to wander over to pick it up.

Whether this is intentional because they know that there's most likely other land mines hidden in the debris or because they're trying to convince me to clean up my lawn earlier next year, I've decided that they all suck for doing this... especially the owner of what can only be a moose that left the Pilsbury cookie tube-sized turds out there for me to deal with.

I scooped up at least 14 individual poops and found another 4 with the mulcher (that was a pleasant experience - NOT). Unfortunately, dried semi-decayed and somewhat moist leaves coupled with fading daylight does not make it easy to spot dog crap on the lawn and by the time I was done, I could feel my Doc Martens were heavier than
they should have been with every step I took ("every move I mook"... thank you Sting...) toward the front door of the house.

I have no idea how many turds ended up on the bottom of each of my boots, caked into every crevice and oozing up the sides of the soles with various twigs and such mixed in. What I wasn't able to scrape off outside with a doggie bag took me a good half-hour to get off with hot water and a toothbrush.

I'd considered just burning the shoes, but I did pay good money for them and they were surprisingly hard to find for a brand that was so popular not too long back (or maybe it was a long while back and I'm just an old coot). Besides, I can't let the neighbors think they got the best of me. So they're clean and drying out on my bedroom floor and should be good as new except for the slight whiff of excrement whenever the AC blows on them.

I'm so glad we're moving.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Hey, there's a show on HBO about our minivan..."

So we bought the Entourage.

We got lotsa nudging toward the Odyssey and the others, but in the end it came down to a few facts:

1) We got all the extras we wanted and none that we didn't for a lower price than any of the competition.

2) The Odyssey was too stiff, the others were too loose, the Entourage was juuuust right.

3) Misha told me we were getting the Entourage.

Ok, so I'm exaggerating a bit on #3 there, but since this is going to be her primary vehicle and since we were trading in her only vehicle for the minivan (for those keeping count, I have 2 cars of my own), her vote definitely had more weight than mine.

I'll be honest, it was a close race between the Odyssey and the Entourage, but in the end the Entourage just made sense when you factored in extras and price. To get the features we wanted in the Odyssey, we would have paid about $4,000 more.

So far, so good. We're enjoying the minivan (and the fact that it sounds like a muscle car when you open it up helps a bit) and are looking forward to many, many years of family adventures.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Connor Turns 1 (month)

Connor's officially 1 month old now and it's amazing to see how much he's changed already.

I'm going to blink and he'll be off to college. Wow.