Food fail!

May. 6th, 2012 06:27 pm

So I tried to very carefully menu plan so that I could make it through these ten days or so without buying too much food, particularly perishables, since I'm not sure how frequently I'll get to the grocery without a vehicle. I somehow talked myself out of staying in town tonight for dinner (I really want to try Ajihei, a sushi place, but I already spent a lot of money on my hair today. it'll wait for another time).

So, I came back to the cottage and went to make pasta with onions, sausage, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts (a pretty standby meal for me). Got water in pot, turned salt shaker over the water, and it was empty. I had assumed there would be salt and pepper in the shakers - silly me. So, no pasta. Went to next meal of interest - pork and sweet potato quesadilla - I managed to forget tortillas at the store. Sigh. Okay, how about beans and rice with onions and garlic? The knife that came with this place is rusty. This is unacceptable. I will have to go and procure a knife because it is dangerous (not to mention kind of gross) for me to try to cook with a knife that's this bad.

So, I ended up with another standby meal: hamburger teriyaki donburi. Sadly, I didn't buy sugar (I usually use sugar and soy sauce over the ground beef), but truvia was fine. No cutting needed. Good thing I brought my rice cooker with me. The rest of the meals I have planned:

Keema beef curry (I think I bought everything I need - doable once I get a knife)
Israeli couscous salad with mango chutney dressing (haven't located Israeli couscous yet)
Spinach quinoa salad with dried cherries and walnuts (will probably do tomorrow)
Ravioli with Brussels sprouts and bacon (need knife)

So, one out of seven meals that I planned was viable. I guess I'll wander out to the Mexican grocery tomorrow during work and grab some tortillas and to the kitchen store for a working knife, and steal some salt packets from the convenience store by me. Or I'll just eat stand by things like fried rice, hamburger donburi and hot dogs every day.

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I got into my new, empty office today. I read some student files, got confused by all of the acronyms and abbreviations (always a problem at a new school), met my coworkers and some others from around the building, had a tasty sandwich for lunch and an iced coffee and frozen yogurt for snack (at 5. who knows if i will sleep or eat dinner).

I forgot my phone charger in my office, so we'll see if I can make do on one charge for two days. Seems unlikely. At least I have my laptop with me, too.

Tomorrow is apartment/house hunting day. I think I'm seeing six places, with the gracious help of [ profile] sr_orangepants and also a realtor. I'm so stressed out about housing. There are a million moving pieces: whether or not [ profile] mthgeek and dogs will be here full time or part time, whether or not our house will sell, how we'll get a move in date to correspond with a move out date at the current house (Princeton will pay to move all my stuff, but only once, which means we might have to put it in some halfway house space or something between now and then. I hope not).

In any case, things are moving ahead. I have moments of sheer panic and moments of sheer happiness. Tomorrow will hopefully help swing the balance toward the latter.
Weekend of 16th: Load most of POD
Mon Aug 18: Thai Monday/my going away lunch
Wed Aug 20: Last day of work/out with co-workers for after work drinks
Thu Aug 21: UNH to do paperwork, pick up rental housing keys, drop off first load of stuff
Weekend of 23rd: Finish POD, move to temp housing in ME
Mon Aug 25: POD picked up at MA, first day of work at UNH!
Wed Aug 27: Closing on 66 Hamilton
Sat Sep 1: Scrabble tourney
Fri Sep 5: house closing - rent house back to current owners
Sat Sep 6: Tim's cooking class; poss go to Boston, see if people will play Scrabble with me
Thu Sep 11: first group meeting with new students
Fri Sep 12: My birthday!
Fri Sep 20: POD #1 arrives at ME, move to final destination
Entertainment center that the TV sits on (too big for living room)
Stinky dog pillows
Old couch we found in the alley in Chicago (has served us well for 6 years)
Compost bucket (no way we're cleaning it out and moving it)
Buffet in living room (no good space for it at new house)
Dining room chairs
25' of chain link fence
1/2 box of laminate flooring

If you want any of these (I know you're jumping at the stinky dog pillows), let me know.  If you can transport them, you can have them.
We took a quick jaunt to Maine this morning to check out the rental we'll be living in for a month. I think we're moving the weekend of the 23rd, buying the house on the 5th, letting its current owners rent it from us for two weeks, and moving in the weekend of sept. 19. It's complicated by the current owners wanting to buy a new house from people who won't sell it to them until their house is officially sold. Whatever. It'll work out in the end. I'll be living without cable or internet for a month. We'll move a mattress, two chairs, a card table, some clothes, and a bit of kitchen gear, and everything else goes in the POD. It'll be like camping, except we'll have indoor plumbing. The time is sure to pass quickly, though: Scrabble tourney weekend, birthday weekend, one other weekend, and then we move. poof!
Yesterday: pack up office and move to new location, taking most of my stuff home
This weekend: go to ME, sign contract on temp housing
Now til 20th: work like crazy person, pack
Fri Aug 15: POD arrives at MA
Weekend of 16th: Load most of POD
Wed Aug 20: Last day of work
[somewhere in here, go to UNH and fill out work forms]
Weekend of 23rd: Finish POD, move to temp housing in ME
Mon Aug 25: POD picked up at MA, first day of work at UNH!
Wed Aug 27: Closing on 66 Hamilton
Sat Sep 1: Scrabble tourney
Fri Sep 5: poss go to Boston, see if people will play Scrabble with me
Fri Sep 12: My birthday!
Fri Sep 26: Closing on 8 Mendum
Fri Sep 26: POD arrives at ME, move to final destination

It's weird being in a new office for two weeks. Our office has restructured a bit, and it required some moves within our office space to new offices. I'm now tucked into a huge office in the back corner with no window. Compared to being the central office, where I could see everything that was going on all the time, I'm very secluded, which is good and bad. I took my clock and calendar home, and I used to refer to them many times a day. I can tell that that's going to be confusing. Also, I don't know where my stapler is.


Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:37 pm

Originally uploaded by kismet09
It's a little more official - they might actually let us leave MA. The Purchase & Sales agreement is signed, and the closing date is set. Now maybe I can stop having dreams about how the buyers are making us build an addition to the house before they'll agree to sign the stupid contract.
At the last minute, we decided to trek up to Portsmouth yesterday to look at a house that showed a lot of promise. It was a great house, in a great neighborhood, toward the top of our price range. Old victorian, with great details. It needed a LOT of work - more so than almost all of the houses we'd looked at, especially for the price. Ultimately, we decided it was too much house for us either way - five bedrooms, three floors of living, and too many updates needed for us to be the ones to put them in. Someone will get a great deal out of that house.

We also stumbled on an open house in a house that's actually just about perfect for us. It's a three-bedroom, 1.5 bath, fair number of eccentricities, HUGE yard, decent sized spaces, reasonably open floor plan, two coffee shops and groceries within 1/2 mile, but it's still a nice, neighborhood setting. The drawbacks were that it gets some water in the basement (which doesn't scare me that much, but I know it might scare off future buyers), the kitchen is non-ideal, we'd have to fence the yard, the commute would be a little more difficult, and it's listed at 30k more than the other house that we like in Kittery. Of course, it ends up balancing out a little in price due to not paying income taxes if we live in NH, but I still don't think we liked it so much more than we did the kittery house, so that's still number one on our list.

There's another open house today, so we're kicked out from 2-4. I can't believe it's noon already. I have trouble getting to sleep at night these days, and then the dogs were barking at something in the yard at 1am and woke me up (sorry neighbors) and it took me an hour or so to get back to sleep. that all meant that I slept until after 9 this morning, so my internal clock is off. I think we'll look at a few more houses this/next week, but I'm still pretty sold on kittery. Hopefully someone today at open house will love this place so we can move on...
The past two days have been full of house things. I'm starting to sound like a broken record. We took a pilgrimage to Ikea, and didn't manage to lose each other at all, which is amazing. We bought a twin bed frame, reading chair and stool/table to go with it, large mirror for over the fireplace, and some odds and ends. Craigslist supplied us with a couple of mattresses. Upstairs, we created a curtained doorway for the walk-in closet (it used to just be an empty doorway, which I prefer), stained various wood things, changed out the toilet seat that I had stained with hair dye, built the twin bed for the upstairs bedroom, and shampooed the carpets. Downstairs, we converted den into bedroom (by moving the futon down to the den and making it bedlike), converted the basement into the tv room, stained some wood that needed updating, rehung foyer closet doors, painted the stairway walls on the way to the basement, and hung a mirror over the fireplace. I'm ready for someone to tell me that I can be done, but the only way that'll happen is if we get an offer on the house.
Big thanks to [ profile] crosstables for owning way too much furniture, and being able to lend me a loveseat for my home staging.

I wonder what people think of the spinning wheel...

Another showing today. Fingers crossed.
There are no showings nor open houses nor Scrabble tournaments this weekend, so we're in the midst of fixing things up. I'm repainting some of the built-ins, Tim's touching up molding, we're doing laundry, we'll probably go grocery shopping, and possibly reward ourselves with a movie. I'm still putting off repainting the big bedroom. It's just too much to deal with right now.

I had pancakes two meals in a row -- pear cardamon baked pancake for dinner last night, and silver dollars made with vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream this morning. For lunch, we snacked on naan dipped in an almond/sesame/spice spread, plus some cheese and baby carrots. For dinner, it'll probably be indian curry and rice.

I'm still dreaming about the house in Kittery. Movement needs to happen on this one to be more comfortable making a bid.

I'm getting obsessed with home staging. We're in the process of repainting the entry way. I'm also contemplating new fixtures for the built-ins just inside the front door. First impressions count, right?

Next week is packed: anniversary/Tim's last day of school on Tuesday, Tim's parents arrive Wednesday, possible house hunting some time later in the week, plus the usual work to do.
We get kicked out of the house again today. I am still watching HGTV somewhat obsessively, and realize that there are a number of things that might make the house more attractive to buyers, which include:

-- repainting the master bedroom to a boring, neutral color
-- buying a loveseat and coffeetable for the living room to make it look more living roomish
-- putting in folding or pocket doors to make the den/bedroom more private
-- writing a detailed description of how to appreciate the house that buyers can take with them
-- refacing the bathtubs/shower areas in both bathrooms

These are all kind of a pain in the butt, and I don't want to deal with them. But, I want to sell my house. We do have loan pre-approval for the next house, so that's a step in the right direction.
That title makes it sound more dramatic than it really is. When selling a house, you remove your personality, so that other people can more easily envision theirs in your space. So, all my CDs, most of my knitting, my Bob Masse Women in Rock signed and framed poster, all of my bookcases, and many, many other things are now packed or stowed in a closet. The house has never been this clean. It definitely doesn't feel like mine any more, but in a good way.

Fourteen people came to the open house, which sounds reasonable. There were two showings yesterday, and one tonight. We took the dogs to Arlington during the open house, picked up a pizza and sat outside of Starbucks at a table under an awning, which meant the chairs were dry despite the rainy morning. During the showings, we drove out to Sudbury and ended up hanging out at the Wayside Inn's grist mill, which we didn't know existed. We read about the mill, walked around pretty grounds, and let the dogs romp through tall grass. The weather had cleared and was cool enough for jackets, and the site was very pretty, so it was time well spent, though the car smells like wet dog. Tonight, we'll probably just go to the park.
When we woke up this morning, the dog was under the bed, with no escape plan. I've never seen her get all the way under the bed, and she definitely couldn't get herself out, so she just kept wagging and rolling back and forth until Tim lifted the corner and she crept out. I wonder how long she was under there. She wasn't there when we went to sleep around 12. Poor dog. She'll be much happier once the move is done, though I'm sure she'll find new things to be neurotic about.

The open house for our house is scheduled from 12-2 today, and then there are two showings, at 3:30 and 4pm, which means that we're kicked out of our house, essentially, from 11:30-4:30, with the pups. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if it weren't raining, but hopefully we'll find something to do for that many hours. I wish dogs could go to movies.
Now someone just has to think it's pretty enough that they want to live here. A few last minute touches to do, and a lot of vacuuming, and it'll be all ready for open house on Sunday.

Edit: She's on the market!

Considering that it's almost too hot to think right now, it has been a very useful weekend in the moving process.  [profile] olaugh[profile] wisemonkey and journal-less Ben came over yesterday and helped us load the POD - this was critical as there were a couple of furniture pieces for which I just wasn't strong enough to be the second set of muscles on a two-person team.  The 12' POD is filled to its limits, and left just enough in the house to allow us to live comfortably for the next 2ish months.  We probably should've packed up more kitchen stuff.  I parted with the waffle maker, crepe maker, and toaster oven, but we still have the kitchenaid mixer, cuisinart, blender, and microwave out -- probably more small appliances than we needed to leave. I also didn't pare down the pots/pans or tupperwares, but I packed all of my bento boxes (sad, since bentos are most useful to me in the warm weather, when all I want for lunch are raw veggies, hummus and other very bentoable foods). 
In every space, there is yarn, dog hair, and a CD. I can open a drawer, or a closet, or find my way to the back of a shelf, and every time at least 2 of those 3 things will be lurking.

I accumulate a lot more stuff than Tim. We have always known this. But I'm getting much better!

Reading old journals and looking through my photo boxes of memorabilia from different times in my life are the whole reason I keep those kinds of things. I love revisiting. And every time I do it, I can pare a little bit out of each box, which makes me feel productive.

The number of cassette tapes that I own is still overwhelming. No, I haven't listened to any of them since I moved here, but I can't bring myself to toss them, especially mixes that people have made me, which date back to '93. Also, all of the tapes from my radio show at Grinnell. I got rid of some, keeping the liner notes, but it just isn't the same.

I have a lot of pajama pants. Most of them are too short. Many of them are stained with paint. But I love them all! Pajama/lounge pants are such a guilty pleasure. They're always on sale at places like Target or Old Navy for less than ten bucks, and they're fun and comfy... I convinced myself to toss a few (mostly so I can buy new ones!) but I know I'm still packing too many.

The POD arrives today. I wonder how much fits in a 12' POD.
The view at the left is the house when we moved in - wood panelling, beige, textured wallpaper, very soft, but already aging carpeting that only got older once the dogs moved in.  The right shows off our newly-finished floors and paint updates.  Hopefully this will help with the resale value!  Our POD arrives some time today, so I can start loading boxes.  My house is feeling claustrophobic with all the box piles.

66 hamilton

Jun. 4th, 2008 06:22 am
We met with our realtor yesterday. The goal is to have the house as empty as possible by a week from this coming Monday. I'll be living in a mostly-empty house for around two months. I'm hoping that I find this liberating rather than depressing. I'll still have my computer, tv, scrabble board, spinning wheel, husband. This should be enough to keep me entertained. I'm trying to decide which couple of cookbooks to keep out. It'll probably be the two Bittman books, plus all of my recipes that I've pulled out of magazines, that I keep meaning to try.

Edit: also, our POD shows up tomorrow! Anyone want to come over and help us fill it with stuff?
I would have been no use at work, so I went in for an hour early, grabbed some stuff to take home, and headed back out. All of my muscles were done, as was my ability to think lucidly. Being home, I experienced the first day of wall demolition. We're having two small bedrooms made into one big master bedroom by removing the wall between the two, and having a walk-in closet added. We've hired contractors named Bud and Darrell, and they make me happy. They have good senses of humor, and Darrell has a low, booming voice, thanks in part, I'm guessing, to years of smoking. I'm amazed by how quickly walls can come down, and by how much dust removing walls can generate.

I also watched The Incredibles, Searching for Bobby Fischer, The American President, and four episodes of Sports Night while rearranging my CDs. We probably have 400 CDs out in shelves, and another 600 in books. I'm thinking it's time to do some purging. My green TV room is the most tranquil spot, and extra-warm, by virtue of its heat vent. Pics to come, once it isn't such a mess that it's unrecognizable.



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