Archive for the ‘move logistics’ Category

the Book is real

Monday, March 17th, 2014

I’m behind again, and need to write a post on a hike we did out by Multnomah Falls and on my birthday trip to Seattle, but first, look what I have

author copies!!!


new house!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

On Friday we had our closing, got our keys, and moved the first batch of stuff from our apartment. Here’s me unpacking the dishes we bought:


Saturday was the Great Festival of Delivery: we had five different groups of people bringing in our major appliances (fridge, washer, dryer); most of the furniture (except the sofa, which takes longer, and a few backordered items); Ted’s monster TV; the key to our mailbox; and our mattress. Luckily the mattress came after the bed.

The house is almost done now; we’ve been scurrying around picking up small things, like kitchen canisters for flour and sugar, a spice rack, sheets because the ones we brought from Taiwan are too small, towels, and so on. This weekend we’ll borrow a panel truck and bring up most of the stuff from Lowell. I have no idea what’s still left there that we could possibly need, except our bikes. I know there’s some clothing, another rowing machine, some hangers for our clothes, mixing bowls, and some books, but half of a large room there is full of boxes and I can’t imagine what’s in all of them.

Here are some photos from during the delivery process, and the kitchen as it looks now.






Some of our bedroom furniture has secret identities. The coolest piece is the vanity we bought to use as my desk: here it is looking all mild-mannered, then after a quick trip to a handy phone booth:



all our stuff, together again

Monday, February 4th, 2013

OK, we’re exhausted. On Wednesday night we went down to the lake house (we named it Rowell, not sure if I ever mentioned that here). Thursday morning early the moving truck showed up, with all our stuff from the Netherlands. The truck wasn’t more than half-full; we’ve been living in furnished flats for the last six years. Still, half a 40-foot moving van is a lot of stuff, especially when you’re trying to fit it all into a house that’s already furnished. The load included two rowing singles; the two sets of oars that go with them; two segments of a beautiful old wooden eight that we bought when our club in the Netherlands retired a couple of their boats, three sets of wooden oars (these boats and oars will be used for decoration, not rowing); two nightstands; a lingerie chest; a rocking chair; a matching ottoman; a storage ottoman; two patio chairs; and all of the books, clothes, pots, dishes, glasses, kitchen utensils, sheets, towels, tools, travel souvenirs and art and hobby stuff (beads and yarn) that we took with us or bought along the way.

Ted’s always said that it really bothers him when things in a house don’t have a place they go in; that’s not something that’s ever bothered me before, but now I understand what he means; I felt like I was drowning in a tidal wave of possessions. There was so … much … stuff. We worked from early every morning to late at night getting it sorted; I’m proud to say that now the entire upstairs of that house is cleared out. Books are on shelves, clothes are in closets and drawers, sheets are neatly stored in bins labeled according to which bed they’re for, kitchen stuff is put away. (The house is oddly organized; the main floor is a 3-bedroom two-bath house, with a large fitness room, craft room, garage, large laundry/workroom, and two baths downstairs.) The fitness room has the ergs and weights set up and usable on one side, with stuff meant for the new house on the other side. We brought back one load of stuff that we’ll need in the new house right away, but we kept it to a minimum since everything we brought back now had to be carried up stairs to this apartment and will then have to be brought to the new house and carried up there. (It’s three floors: garage, then living room, dining room, kitchen and den, with bedrooms on top.) The craft/storage room in Rowell is also full, but we can clear that out at our leisure. It was just such a relief to get the stuff all sorted away!

Also, it was great to have all our stuff on one continent. I made shrimp étouffée on Friday night and was able to use the new German knife we bought for that house just before leaving the Netherlands, my good cast iron Dutch oven, a pot from Taiwan (that was in a box the whole time we were in the Netherlands), and that house’s gas stove, all together for the first time. (I do not like Chef Emeril’s recipe, however. There was something wrong with his proportion of flour to butter and I had to correct them by guess.) Ted was happy to finally get to row his single on that lake, and I took my open water boat (it’s a Wintech Explorer 21 rec shell, good for training or open water) out for a shakedown cruise, though the water was like glass, and its extra stability wasn’t needed.

And we even got back in time to see the Superbowl – I’ve seen better years for commercials, but the game itself and the halftime show were some of the better ones I recall.

saying goodbye to Taiwan, hello whatever’s next

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

It always feels strange saying goodbye. For me it’s a weird feeling being back at my old desk; I still work with my old colleagues sometimes but not as much. I don’t know if I’ll be back here – if I do have trips back to Taiwan for work, they could easily be to Hsinchu or Tainan instead of Taipei. Ted will certainly be back, but it’s still a big deal to leave the department you built from the ground up and all the people you’ve worked with for three years. We’ve had a bunch of hassles closing out our bank accounts, but I think it’s all dealt with now (fingers crossed!). And yes, that’s plural; it turned out mine was still open though I thought it had been closed months ago. Tomorrow the movers come to pack up; as with the last two times, the challenge will be to make sure they take all of our stuff and only our stuff, since it’s a furnished apartment.

Meanwhile, we’ve been thinking about what we’ll do after this stint in the Netherlands (still a mystery), and about the house in Oregon. We’re hoping to spend Christmas there, if everything works out. We won’t be doing anything to it soon, but Ted had the most brilliant idea ever for the mystery bathroom. That’s the very large room (seriously, about 11′ square, plus a toilet alcove) that contains a toilet, two sinks, and a tub that’s not hooked up. We haven’t figured out why anyone would turn a room that big into a bath, especially with three full baths already in the house including one literally next toor. It’s a nice room, though, with a tile floor, and we’ve been playing around with ideas – hot tub? wine cellar? Ted’s latest suggestion is that we build bookshelves all around, put a big rug on the floor, a couple of comfy chairs, and make it into a library. The coolest part is what to do about the plumbing: keep the toilet in the alcove, add a small sink, and put in a camouflaged door in the form of a rotating bookshelf. Add a tiny drinks fridge and a snack cupboard and he may never get me out of there!

I don’t know how likely that all is, but it’s a lot of fun to think about. 🙂

the new place

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Poor Mom has managed to avoid moving house for nearly 44 years, but I ruined her streak. Actually, over the past few weeks, Ted and I have inflicted moving on three out of our four parents; only my Dad escaped. Mom tried to avoid it, napping on the couch while the movers packed up the old place, but she did unpack a lot of the books in the new apartment. At least she didn’t get stuck with the big move Ted’s parents did!

Anyway, here’s the new apartment – you enter on the first floor, and that’s where the bedrooms are. Please excuse the mess and boxes, and click on photos if you want to see them bigger. They’re a pretty good size, for bedrooms here, but note the small amount of clothing storage:

There is a huge laundry / storage room, though, and decks on both levels – this is the lower one:

The bath is nicer than the one in the previous place, and as usual here the toilet is separate (a Dutch person once said to me, “Doesn’t it bother you having the toilet right in there with the bath?”)

Here’s Mom’s least favorite part of the flat:

Here’s what’s at the top of those stairs – you can also see a bit of the upper deck:

and the dining room and kitchen:

By the way, the step-stools you see in the master bedroom and the kitchen are *not* there because I’m still moving in – I need those just to reach everyday things. The lower edge of those kitchen cabinets is about level with my chin!

resting up tonight

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I thought I heard someone calling cadence, so I just poked my head out the window and saw a troop in uniform crossing the street. I feel a little bit guilty for it, but I don’t think I’m going to City Hall to watch the ceremony. They have tropps marching and tanks rolling into the square there (which is actually named 18SeptemberPlein) to re-enact the liberation of EIndhoven, 64 years ago today. It was part of Operation Market Garden – the successful half of that plan. When we lived here in 2007, Ted’s parents were fortuitously visiting at the time, and his dad’s interested in WWII history so we went to see it – we were only half a block away then. (Now I’m a whopping 2 blocks away). It was the most powerful experience of history I’ve had here – I kept having flashbacks, seeing the grandparents of the same people standing there, much thinner and in ragged clothes, weeping with joy to see the tanks rolling in to liberate them from the Nazis. Many of the men in the tanks were the same, literally – old men from five countries come back here for this, though there are fewer every year.

I’m not going this year, though, because I have to rest up. I just got back from the boathouse, loading up boats on trailers for tomorrow. I didn’t fast for Yom Kippur, because it’s not a good idea the day before a strenuous event, but I did eat as little as I could without being stupid – a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a gevuldekoek (filled cookie – about 4″ across) for lunch. I jumped the gun on sunset for dinner, though. Because tomorrow I am rowing in the Rondje EIndhoven. It’s a tour, not a race, with stops for lunch and coffee, and the chance to rest and take a turn coxing periodically. But still it’s 50 km, and I’ve had a tiring week, so I’ll stay home tonight.

The really hard part will be biking to work tomorrow! But I have class after work, and I’d have to take two busses to get there if I didn’t bike. And then there’s a concert after class – an American singer/songwriter, Richard Shindell, who I’d kick myself if I missed. At least it’s only a three-day week. Then I’m on vacation while Mom visits.

Meanwhile Ted keeps telling me how tired and sore he is; he’s at the house in Orgeon, getting all our stuff organized there (quote: “I forgot how much stuff we have!”) and getting some stuff fixed. Apparently he’s also been putting his parents to work. I feel a little less guilty about moving apartments when Mom is here – this is a much smaller move, and the movers will do the heavy parts. And then I’m off to Taiwan soon after she leaves, where Ted and I get to deal with still more movers. (Three sets of movers total – four if you count mine back in April, three continents, three of our four parents involved….) Yes, it all gets a little silly.

new year update

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

A healthy and a happy New Year to those who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah (and anyone else who can use one!)

Ted has been and gone, so now I’m back to bicycling to work every day. There’s a Scandinavian saying that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing, and to some extent that’s true. (Clothing can’t do much about strong headwinds; when the weather is especially fierce I take the bus.) I rode in through drizzle this morning and was very comfortable in my rain jacket and rain pants (it is definitely Fall here, not summer; I’ve needed to wear jackets for a few weeks now). It’s a pleasant ride in; most of it is along bike paths that are not only separate from the road but completely away from it, through parks. It takes about half an hour, which is only slightly longer time it takes to drive to work. In fact, going home it’s faster to bike because of all the homebound traffic. Plus it’s nice to be able to get some exercise in during my commuting time. My Dutch classes have started back up two evenings a week so it’s harder to find time to work out otherwise.

Last week I went to Amsterdam to tour the Royal Palace on the Dam Square, which has been closed for a while. Of course, you can only see parts of it, but those parts include not only the great hall but also some of the rooms where heads of state stay. Odd, though: it’s the only palace I’ve ever seen that was originally built as a city hall. So a room might be furnished as a dining room or a spectacular bedroom with decor from the Napoleonic period, but the audio tour would be talking about which city burghers used to meet there. After that I walked over to Gassan DIamonds and took their tour – I was quote surprised that they took us into a small room and let us see a €70,000 diamond up close, not behind glass.

This weekend should be calm, but then things get hectic (in a good way). I’m rowing in a 50km tour around the city (not an aggressive marathon, a slow and scenic sort of tour) then my mom comes to visit, we go to London for a few days, we come back and I move into a new apartment while she’s still there (sorry, Mom), then she leaves and a few days later I go off to Taiwan.

Meanwhile Ted will be in the US, getitng some work done on the new house. I’m still not quite sure how he convinced me that moving to a new apartment (here in Eindhoven) before he gets here was a good idea…

what I can hear from my new apartment

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

– sirens (maybe once or twice a day)
– distant shouting (only once, when I had the windows open – I think there might have been a game in the nearby stadium
– church bells (from here – sorry, website is in Dutch, but it has pictures). I can only faintly hear it, unless the windows are open, in which case it’s a pleasant sound.
– traffic (but not very loud, and again only with windows open)

This is as opposed to the Taiwan apartment, whose soundscape featured:
– fireworks (all too often)
-singing from the temple nearby
– announcements from political trucks
– traffic
– any conversations anyone had in the space in front of our elevator, and some held in the next apartment
– every flush from the people upstairs (sounded like a waterfall over our bed).
– airplanes (the smaller local airport is right across the river)

As you might guess, I’m enjoying the quiet. Wish I could add the sound of Ted’s voice, but otherwise it’s nice.

Edited to add: I spoke too soon – apparently the party just hadn’t ststarted yet. Now I’m getting really loud music – recorded, and it keeps switching, so I’d guess it’s one of my neighbors rather than a bar, but I can’t really tell. Good thing I always keep earplugs around.

the essentials

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Some people have the knack of making a place looking homey in a very short time, without spending much money. I, on the other hand, have the much less useful knack of spending gobs of money (in a very short time) and just making the place look cluttered. Lived-in, yeah, that’s it. And I still don’t have a dish to put my new soap in or a rack for the wine I bought today. On the other hand, at least I have the useful things covered, not to mention a pretty clear set of indicators of my priorities: wine to drink and vacuum corks to seal it, pretzels to eat and a container to keep them fresh, nicely scented soap to wash with, an iPhone to play with call people on, speakers to plug my iPod into and so I can hear music, a bathmat to keep my feet warm after showering, a big mug (well, big by local standards, normal in the US) to drink tea out of. Desk supplies so I can write things and file paperwork, herbs and a big pot to cook with, things to wash up with after cooking.

And some tealights to go in the several candle-holders here, so I can at least pretend I’m good at the ornamental side of things.

the new place

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Here’s a slightly fuzzy video of my new place in the Netherlands if anyone wants to see it. (It’s taken with an iPod, so the quality isn’t perfect and it’s a little shaky. Still, pretty impressive considering the size of an iPod Nano.)