Monthly Archives: May 2009

Rufus Xavier Sasparilla

“Now, I have a friend named Rufus Xavier Sasparilla …”

100_0633My friend Corin points out that we need to get back to the dog. All this talk of moving, and hardly a mention. Lucky he can’t read. (I assume.) His name is Rufus, and he was named after the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. (Video is at the bottom of the page – I am a total product of the 1970s.) This is likely the last photo of Rufus as a City Dog. He seems to be taking to the Adirondacks. He doesn’t like the car ride much, be he sure likes running around the yard. We got some stakes and poultry wire to put up a temp fence for him. We’re not calling it “poultry wire” though. I told him it’s “big dog wire.”

Looks like all the big stuff is out of the city house and we’re down to bare essentials. Just need to straighten up a few things (okay … I have two big bookshelves and a file cabinet to take out of the office) and do the big clean.

Speaking of, let me tell you about my cleaning  finds. First off Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers. (I’m always a little behind the curve.) I have this wall that I couldn’t get the paint colors for. Serious black furniture scrape marks on the walls. Amazing. This stuff takes anything off anything. And fast! What’s in this crap? Plutonium?! My other new favorite is my Shark Rechargeable Cordless Sweeper. Picks up anything (even nails and tacks), and it kicks my Red Devil dustbuster thing’s ass.

We’re in the mountains this weekend – You can keep an eye on my Twitter feed if you’re curious what we’re up to. It’s over there at the top right. You have a great weekend too!


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Bonus Post- Landlord Rant

You know how we humans have a tendency to ruin something just as it’s coming to an end? That defense mechanism that prompts us to wreck a relationship with another human just because we probably won’t see them much again? I seriously hope I am not doing that. I’m trying not to. Right?

Today, I am spending my time avoiding the male half of our landlords (and taking out the last few heavy items).

Whatever he doesn’t like about this whole thing, it shows. Our landlords are friends – for years – yet he has been nothing but gruff and unpleasant the past few weeks.

He asked for rent the month of June, which is fine. We are going to be here through the 6th. Our best friends The New Tenants ended up splitting the month with us, even though we’re out the 6th and they can’t move till the 28th. When they were setting up the deal, Male Landlord was adamant about “not losing a month,” even though he needs to get contractors in here to fix things. Big things. He keeps asking me how early we’re going to be out. Repeatedly. Even though the rent is being paid through the month of June.

I am repainting the whole house because I know no one else will. That’s fine. I chose to do it. However, he knows I am painting. He has seen me painting. I would have expected at least a “Thanks.” I went down to borrow a roller. Not a word. Just acted like it was my responsibility to do it. I just went down to offer them a newish, rather expensive computer desk that I had already taken downstairs. I get up to “I’m putting this desk out. Would you like …” and I am cut off. “No. Take it out.” Last time I ask about something nice I’m giving away, I guess.

Thing is, I’m leaving the apartment far, far better than just “broom clean,”and I am trying to be overboard considerate. It’s at this point that we come to my peeve – We humans forgetting to merely consider and think about each other. Shouldn’t we try to do the best job we can? Especially in our interactions with each other? All the same, It’ll be over soon.

Whatever. A little extra work is easy to swallow. My pride is not.

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The Aesthete

I am funny about how stuff looks.

100_0620I have repainted most of the city apartment (to be taken over by our best friends), even though I really didn’t need to. When asked why, my simple answer is most often, “Because it will look better.” I just finished repainting most of the trim, window sills, and doors; and I’ve spent most of the week saying things like, “Don’t touch that wall. I just repainted it,” or “Get your hands off the moulding.”

100_0568Conversely, I’m starting to get funny about things at the Adirondack place. I think I’m getting better about the whole thing though – I’m picking my battles, and I won’t try to do everything at once. With that in mind, I am still going to plant grass before we tear the house down. I don’t care if I have to replant parts of it. I don’t care if it costs a fortune and I have to replant it five times. I can’t live on dirt and mud for a year or more. And I am going to plant some mature(ish) trees right away. Not too too close to the tear-down house, but yeah, closer than most people probably would. It may be a construction site, but I still have to like being there.

100_0624This will be the last week in the city house. The empty house is not quite as odd as I had expected. Likely because our moving-in friends are keeping some of our larger pieces of furniture. Due to that, it’s not empty empty. The new-paint smell is a little weird – your senses tell you that you’re moving in to a new place, as opposed to moving out.

This weekend will be out last trip to the Adirondacks as non-residents. Next time we drive up, we’re staying. Yep – I get that wiggly nervous/queasy feeling as I type that. But perhaps my head is in the right place – I’m not nervous about getting into the RV and staying for good. I’m nervous about getting everything out of here so our NYC departure is smooth and easy.

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The Penultimate

I’m a reasonably intelligent adult, and I like to think I have a handle on Murphy’s Law. (Okay, not always.)

100_0617All the same, I am doing the pseudo-final clear out in the city house this week … one week early. Because I know that no matter how done I think I am, we’ll get to next week and something won’t be done. Or I’ll have forgotten a task. Or we’ll not have done the Salvation Army drop-off yet. Or something won’t fit in the final load North.

I think years of live theatre have taught me that if you do not have everything planned down to the last stitch, you’re probably going to end up in trouble. In other words, if something can go wrong, it will.

In addition to being a Packing Paranoid, I simply love it when a plan comes together! And we’re so close to it coming together! I’m trying to get everything non-essential in the van this weekend.

  • Living Room – Done, except a TV left to take out
  • Music Room – Done, nothing left.
  • Dining Room – Done, nothing left
  • Bathroom – Done, only a bag of essentials left
  • Kitchen – Bug Out Box waiting, otherwise nothing left
  • Bedroom – Deal with clothes, toss computer desk
  • Hallway – Bookcase has to go out, about 80% empty
  • Closets – Three empty, one in the bedroom with some clothes
  • Office – A mess. Stuff still to clear and three bookcases to go out

I’ve put a box in each room marked “Bug Out Box.” We’ll just toss the few remaining essential things in the Bug Out Box, stick ’em in the van on the way out the door, and we’re done. Looking pretty empty in here. Bit by bit. Hard to believe that in a week I’ll be writing about planting trees, working on the property, and being an Adirondack resident.

So, it goes well. I’m not too too freaked out about the remaining stuff. I have three days. And then I have a week. I love double deadlines!


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A Dubious Celebration

We’re getting down to the wire, and it’s getting a little sticky around here.

We’re about to the point where a few of the tasks we hadn’t been able to fit in need done now, on top of everything else. But, aside from a long list of way too much hard work to get done, things are good. Money and job situation is good. The RV is delivered. We bought some temp fencing for the dog. The RV furnace, water, and fridge work nicely . So, let’s just call today a dubious celebration – I have way too much to get done, but it’s all working out.

Here’s a few moving-in snaps from the weekend –

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The Big Blue Whale

The weekend was … what? Action packed? I’ll fill in weekend details another time. Time being, I need to tell you about the RV delivery. You know that NPR show,”Fiasco”? One more incident with this RV delivery, and we would have qualified.

We agree to meet RV Delivery Guy by the spring at Exit 30 at 11am. He was leaving at 8. We arrive at the tap at five-to-eleven, and he’s already been there an hour. “No traffic. Sweet drive. No prob at all. No prob.” Delivery Guy is super nice (like everyone at the dealership) and agreeable to anything even moderately sane. Little does he know, his kind demeanor has doomed him.

I am once again shocked at the size of the RV. It’s enormous. I look at it and think, “Things this big should not roll.” The RV is blue and white and it has that fifth-wheel nose, and it reminds me of a Blue Whale. “I bet that’s how big a Blue Whale is,” I think to myself. “Only without a bed in its nose.” We start out over the mountain roads, up and down, past waterfalls, through valleys, and we manage to get the thing over hill and over dale without incident. We’re home.

The honeymoon is over.

100_0571I explain that I would like him to pull it in nose first, because I want the door on the right side. He’ll have to do a two-hundred-point turn to get his truck out, but it should work. In theory. “Unless you want to drive out through that swamp on the left! Ha, ha, ha!” He gets the RV in nicely, unhitches, and begins the turn-of-many-points. The RV isn’t leveled yet, so it’s sort of listing to the left side … a whale beached at the edge of our swamp.

Ten minutes later, Delivery Guy is still cutting little pie shaped pieces in the dirt, and going nowhere fast. It is at this point that we add Villager #1, a friend from next door.

100_0572_2Delivery Guy leans out and asks us, “Hey, this is a pretty tough truck. You think I could get through the few feet of that swamp?” We walk out on it. “Seems dry enough. We’re not sinking at all.” Well, we’re also not a 3/4 ton pickup truck. He pulls backwards and to the left. We hold our breath. He totally buries it. One side up, one side down. Villager #1 looks at me dryly. “Get the tractor?” “Yeah, get the tractor,” I drone. It is at this point that we add Villager #2.

100_0574Mere seconds later, the big red 1950s tractor chugs around the front of the old house. Villager #1 and Villager #2 run a chain from the tractor to the truck. Delivery Guy gets back in the truck. It is at this point that we add Villagers #3 and Junior Villager #4, friends from across the street. #2 revs the tractor, they gain a little traction … and the tractor wheels start to spin. Brand new soft soil. Just had that side of the property leveled. Villager #2 shouts, “Let’s try ‘er again!” The tractor lurches, makes a horrible noise, gets stuck in gear, and is frozen.

It is at this point that we really attract the attention of Villagers #5 through 12 … the volunteer fire department has set up down the road on the corner for their “put money in the boot” thing. They’re laughing, but I don’t much care because they’re the ones standing there in 80 degree heat wearing bright yellow slickers, stopping traffic, and begging for change with an old rubber boot.

About 30 yards away, Villager #13’s mother has set up a yard sale. They’re watching, but seem more horrified than anything else. To review – We now have the beached whale, the swamped truck, and the frozen tractor all sitting near the front of our property. Villager #14 comes ambling over, leaving the store unattended – one eye on the store and one eye on the muddy truck. “Hell, this is the biggest thing to happen in this town since that car hit your house a few years back!” I tell him that if one more vehicle gets stuck in my driveway, I’m tossing a match at the house, getting in the van, and driving as far away as I possibly can get.

Villager #13 brings over a huge platter or watermelon and starts passing it out to everyone. Villager #3 goes over and buys a lamp.

100_0576At this point, we’re calling tow trucks … with winches. The local guy is in Plattsburgh. It’ll be a few hours. Then, lo and behold, a miracle happens. Villager #15 drove by, saw we were having trouble, and unlike our fire department audience, lifted a finger to help. #15 told his neighbor Villager #16 to get his truck out there, we needed help. And #16’s truck is some kind of tow truck. It’s the kind of truck that can pick up a truck.

He winches the pickup onto the bed, and pulls it right out. The license plate assembly sticks in the mud and someone goes to get it. Their shoe comes off, stuck in the muck. Delivery Guy and I level the RV. We all walk over to the store parking lot. Delivery Guy has to get going. Villager #14 comes out of the store – he’s made him a plate of hotdogs for the road.

And we all stand in the parking lot and laugh for a while. Delivery Guy hoses the mud off his truck.

“Well, this should make for good talk ’til at least Winter.”
“Sure passed the afternoon, didn’t it?”
“Too bad Cranky Ol’ #17 wasn’t here to see it.”
“Eh. He’s just an old gossip. Never has anything nice to say.”
Old Man #18 sure would have loved it though.”

And that’s how we roll in our little villiage in the back corner of the Adirondacks.

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Lovin’ Lizzie

We’re at the RV Dealer today doing the final walk-through of the RV. She will be delivered tomorrow. I’m having a little problem figuring out how to pull her onto the land and get the door facing the way I want without being in the way of the house I have to tear down; but it’s one of those things better figured out on the spot. I’ll send your best wishes to Lizzie. Don’t hate her because she’s beautiful. Tin Lizzie loves you, and only wants your love in return.

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And in other awesome news, Significant Other got the terrific job that had been two interviews running! And it’s where? Oh, five miles down the road from our place. Pretty cool. I’m normally not someone who indulges in these cutsey-poo blog things, but hell, a celebration’s a celebration!


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