Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Family Moved (Again)

Yup- we moved- again. This time into a nice new house of our very own. No more renting from crazy people. 43 days in that house was about 42 1/2 days too many I tell you. Of course we were once again blessed with wonderful rainy weather to move in.

Unpacking has been a fun adventure. Our belongings were spread out into 2 different storage units plus the rental house. On the plus side I have finally found the cord that I needed to download pictures from my digital camera. I have a file full of pictures of CK's house. CK would be our landlady for the 43 days we lived in hell, I mean her rental house. C stands for Crazy and K would be the first letter of her name.

However, after much deliberation I have decided not to post pictures of our 43 day home. I would prefer to leave those memories in the past and move on to our nice, clean new house.
I have a little bit of unpacking left to do- mostly the boxes that the Dad needs to go through. But all of those boxes have been relegated to the garage. As a result the inside of the house is shaping up nicely and I have a few pictures of the main floor great room to share. Enjoy (we sure are).

The main floor "great room" is really a big L shaped room consisting of living room, dining area and kitchen.

The Front Entry

The Living Room

Dining Room


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Grand total for the Move

Adding everything up for the big move from California to Minnesota we have:

One 26 foot Uhaul
one 12 foot trailer
One ambulance ride
4 hours in the ER
30 hours of driving time
2 nights in hotels that allow pets
2 visits from the police (her dogs attacked a neighbor on the morning we moved in)
1 visit from the local news wanting to do a story on the "attack dogs"
2 broken fingers (one each for the Boy and the Mom).
38 houses toured
2 houses we made offers on (one was pulled off the market right before we put in the offer)
1 10 x 20 storage unit because most of our stuff wouldn't fit through the narrow doorways.
1 house that we will close on at the end of the month

and numerous tears, bruises and hours spent cursing K.

The family goes ghetto?

After 3 full days (like 14 hour days in the car) of driving we finally made it to town. Our lease started on the 15th and we showed up on the 18th. Our landlady- K- was there to meet us and give us the keys to our rental house. Our elation over being "home" was short lived.
She informed me before opening the door that is was her "birthday and she didn't want to have to move anything today." Strange but ok- I am not going to make her help us unload the Uhaul. Then she opened the front door..... yup- I was going to make her move on her birthday.
She was going to have to move because 4 days into my lease she still hadn't moved out yet! As in dishes in the dishwasher, the baby's crib upstairs, clothes in the dryer, etc. The stench of the house was nearly overwhelming. Dog fur so thick in the basement you could have made a dozen pillows with it. Carpets so dirty I had to empty the good old Dyson once or twice PER ROOM!
My family and friends were trying to give us advice, K is whining because I expected her to be out of the house and the Dad was ready to jump back in the Uhaul and drive back to California.
Once again- level headed and comic relief came out. I started cleaning so we could unload the Uhaul and started moving in to our newly rented house.
Most wonder why I didn't just move in with my parents or rent somewhere else. Try renting a place on a days notice with 2 dogs and a cat? My parents, bless them, offered us their basement but my mom does not allow pets at her house. So we were pretty much stuck. Either we moved into the house we had already rented and make the best of it or we become homeless.
By the end of the first week we were pretty much all unpacked (except for the 10'x20' storage unit full of stuff) when the doorbell rang. A very friendly policeman was on the steps waiting to inform me that K had failed to get a rental license and that if she didn't get one in the next 60 days the city would be evicting me. I called K immediately and was told "it's no big deal, it's all under control. I don't need a license." Well, K the city and the police beg to differ.
Turns out because I live in a "historic" part of the city we don't have any off street parking and the city will not issue a rental license if the house lacks off street parking.
K claims that she is working to get a "temporary rental license" The city has yet to receive her application (from a month ago) and the house is now for sale. Awesome, because I love having my life interrupted so I can pack the dogs up and leave the house every time a realtor wants to show it.
In my price range in my town there are 51 available properties. So far I have personally walked though 38 of them. We are fortunate that we did find a house to purchase here in town. The current owners even agreed to our closing date of less than 3 weeks after we put in the offer.
So I get to pack up the house again, 6 weeks after unpacking it the first time and move across town.

The Family hangs out in the ER

Our 4 hour "visit" in the ER did not start out under ideal circumstances. It wasn't a good sign when I tripped over the curb walking into the ER entrance. In my defense- I am a total klutz and should have learned by now that walking and texting are not good ideas for me.
The city we lived in (at the time) is a large city with nearly 200,000 people. We lived in a nice part of town but the hospital serviced the entire county. Given that it was basically 8pm on a Friday night we were in for a long wait.
We had to ask probably a dozen people before we were even given an update on the Dad. After close to 45 minutes we were finally let back to his room in the ER. The Boy was pretty shaken up so I had to pull out the comedy routine to calm everyone down. It is exhausting having to be both the level headed one and the comic relief at the same time.
The Dad was in panic attack mode so they fortunately came in with the drugs once we alerted them to the situation. Since the Dad is bi-polar we have become experts at spotting the symptoms of his mood swings.
We have never spent much (any) time in the ER before. When the Boy was 4 we offered him a cash incentive for every year he made it with out an ER visit. So far he is 11 and we have only been the once now for the Dad.
I don't know if all hospitals are like this one but it was insane. People on gurneys lining the halls, gun shot victims, police officers rooming the halls, etc. We were in our own little room with a front curtain. Seriously the best people watching in the world!
Three bags of saline and about 2 gallons of water later they gave us a list of what had to happen before they would release him. First he had to um, how to put this delicately "empty his bladder." Not an easy feat when you are still tied to the hospital bed. Don't worry- the Boy and I were able to find plenty of humor in the situation. I was the lucky one that got to hunt down the nurse and get the next set of instructions. After about 3 hours they said "he can be released if he can eat a meal and not get nauseous".
They brought him a turkey sandwich, yogurt and apple juice. I explained to the nurse that we are vegetarians. If you make him eat a turkey sandwich he will get nauseous. So we compromised and he had to eat the yogurt and the apple juice.
After tracking down the nurse again and begging for his discharge paperwork we were free to go.
And by free to go I mean- free to go find the Uhaul that was parked on the side of the road and drive to Palm Springs.
I am thinking of offering the Dad the same cash incentive that we have offered the Boy to keep the both of them out of the ER.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Dad gets to ride in an ambulance

August 14th was a hot and cloudless day in California. A perfect sand rash worthy beach day! But alas we were not headed to the beach- we started the day off with a 7:30am visit to the local U-Haul Center to pick up our 26 foot rented truck.

It is important to note that we have very heavy furniture and belongings and that the temps were steadily rising toward the day's high of 100+. Some of our more heavy pieces include- a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, treadmill, coca-cola machine, and a big Nautilus home gym thing. By noon we had all of that loaded on to the truck. Then came everything else we owned.

Have I mentioned yet that books are a major addiction for our family? Um yeah- so 6 large bookshelves full of books later...

At 3:30pm it back glaringly obvious that everything wouldn't fit in the 26 foot U-Haul truck. So back to the U-haul store to rent a 12 foot trailer to tow behind the U-haul. 4 hours later the truck and trailer were finally fully packed.

I loaded the bucket of fish, the cat and the 2 dogs into the Volvo while the Dad and the Boy buckled themselves into the U-haul truck. Our plan was to drive the 30 minutes to my parents house in Palm Springs to spend the night. Dear old Mom and Dad were flying in the next morning and Dad was going to help us drive the U-haul back to Minnesota.

Approximately 2 miles into our 30 mile trip I noticed the Boys were not behind me. As I was making a u-turn my cell phone started ringing. I couldn't reach it as it was somewhere under the fish and the cat.

I back tracked about half a mile and found the truck on the side of the road and a crowd of people and parked cars. My first thought was "if that idiot hit a car with that truck I am going to be so pissed because I just declined U-hauls 'extra' insurance coverage". I feel guilty now for thinking that because the sight I saw is one I won't soon forget.

I parked my car and hurried up to the crowd only to find the Dad laying face down in the street with a growing puddle of blood around his head and the Boy no where to be seen.

Turns out the Dad had become severely dehydrated over the course of the day and as he was driving the U-haul started to become short of breath. He had the idea that if he pulled over to the side of the road and got some fresh air he would feel better. His idea worked in theory right up until he decided to get out of the truck. As his foot tried to find the steps down from the cab of the truck every muscle in his body seized up (due to the dehydration). As his arms refused to work to break his fall he fell face first from the cab to the pavement. The growing puddle of blood was from the broken nose, chipped teeth and busted open lips and chin.

The Boy was safely in the truck, he realized that it would be safer for him in the truck that on the street. My brave boy was the one that was trying to call me to tell me what had happened. Fortunately someone had already called 911 by the time I got there.

Some very nice, and handsome I might add, fire and rescue men showed up. They accessed the situation, loaded the Dad up into the ambulance and kindly moved the U-haul off the busy street we were on.

I re-arranged the fish and cat to make room for the Boy and followed the ambulance to the Hospital.

Our decision to move

When we left Minnesota we looked at living in California as this big grand adventure. And it was- for a while.
California had tons of great things to offer- beaches, Disneyland, the desert etc. But honestly, after a couple of trips to Disneyland it just becomes this overly expensive place crowded with tourists and whiny kids.
The Beach was great- except the boy always ended up with a sand rash. Plus salt water does a number on the "water proof" sunscreen so a sunburn was an automatic after a day at the beach.
The Desert we still love and will miss.

But after a while we started to miss things about Minnesota. We missed Miss Pants' 3rd Birthday party. Nothing can make you feel guilty faster than a nearly 3 year old calling you to find out if you are coming to her Birthday Party and then having to explain why you can't be there.
My sister in law was due to give birth to a little boy. After they asked me to be his godmother I realized that I had only seen his older sister- my goddaughter- once since her baptism.

So we held a family vote and decided that we would move the adventure back to Minnesota and see where life would take us. Apparently, even before life took us out of California it was going to demand a quick visit to the Emergency Room!


A few of my friends have been harassing me lately (you know who you are- Kelly!) about the lack of updates lately.
So after a few months of no news I will try to fill you all in as quickly as possible.
We Moved!
There done- update complete.

Just teasing- I won't be stingy with the details. More posts to follow. I will fill you on rides in the ambulance, dog fights, ghetto living and new schools.

Patience is a virtue apparently. Looking for the cable to download pictures from the digital camera. It's in a box here somewhere. You might think- geez unpack already. Why unpack when I have to move again in 2 short weeks?

Has curiosity killed your cat yet? stay tuned.