Archive for February, 2013

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:

hip-deep

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.

bed

dining_rm

kitchen1

kitchen2

rug

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:

vanity_in

vanity_out

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.