Packing surprise

2014-06-18 07.18.11

Found my lost earring!

I don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry. I have one watch that I received as a parting gift for my tenure as Chair of the Staff Council five years ago, and I wear it almost daily. I have a few of Lisa Leonard’s necklaces and her lovely silver bracelet with discs of each of the boy’s names that I wear often. My jewelry box also contains several pairs of earrings, though I tend to wear the same 3-5 more than any others.

One of my favorites is a pair of oblong silver hoops. The selfie photo doesn’t do them justice, because you can’t really see the etching/texture. Several months ago, I lost one of the hoops. I was disappointed, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the match. While I was cleaning out my closet to get the house ready to show, I found the lost hoop! It was a nice surprise during an otherwise arduous chore.

Speaking of cleaning and packing, whew! I haven’t gone to bed before midnight all this week, and I am zonked. The good news is that the house is tidier than it has been since we moved in five years ago, and although it may lack froufrou decor, at least it’s spacious and open for people to walk through without tripping over video game cables, laundry baskets or random things that kids leave out because they apparently lack the eyesight to see things right under their noses.

2014-06-18 12.39.10I’m not one to talk, honestly. Housekeeping has never been my strong suit, and I struggled to keep my small apartment tidy when I was young and single, much less nowadays. It’s a huge challenge for me. My bedroom looked like a unit from Storage Wars, with a bed in the middle and a chair in the corner. It wasn’t as bad as Hoarders, but six years of grad school materials, plus five kids’ pipe cleaner & bead bracelets, lost teeth that the Tooth Fairy stashed in zip baggies, old pictures and handmade keepsakes that I couldn’t throw away in front of them had really piled up over time. It felt so good to throw things away (discretely, in case someone noticed his knotted string bracelet that he made “just for me” in the garbage), box up things that were to keep, and give away bag after bag to Goodwill.

Between the Realtor, friends who came over to help sort & pack, handymen and a housekeeper, we’ve had a lot of people in and out of the house over the past couple of weeks. Bruiser and Sushi aren’t sure what to make of all the changes. They like discovering new boxes to sit in, and they’ve been sniffing around everything like a pair of puppies rather than cats, but mostly they just want to stay out of the way.

Case in point, I found Bruiser hiding in the bathroom when I went home for lunch today. See what I mean about no froufrou decor? I don’t even have a towel hanging on the towel bar. 🙂

Packing detour

2014-06-06 08.43.01

Garage door opener brace

Evening-before-last, I pushed the button to close the garage door, which was soon followed by a horrific crash sound. The lawnmower was in the way of the door, but somehow it didn’t trip the safety light to keep the door from closing.

Thankfully, I think the mower is ok. Unfortunately, the brace that holds the garage door to the opener along the track was completely off. What’s weird is that there are holes for three bolts in the brace, but there were no bolts on the ground or anywhere in the vicinity! I don’t know how the brace was attached previously, but I couldn’t make odds or ends of it.

I was too tired to deal with it yesterday, and although my stepdad offered to come over on Saturday when he gets back to town to fix it for me, I decided that since I’m working half-days this week, I could just go to the store this morning and buy some bolts to fix it myself. Ta-da! It works like new.

I’m so tired from sorting, purging, and packing. I haven’t gotten nearly as much done this morning as I intended (obviously, since I’m sitting in my arm chair typing this post!), but fixing the door was a necessary detour.

The mover inventory guy also came over earlier this morning to take notes on all the furniture, estimated boxes, etc. It didn’t take long to walk through the house, garage, and yard, but it was eye-opening to go room to room and realize just how much there still is to do. Ugh. I tried going to bed early (before 10pm) last night, and I slept hard, but I’m still pooped. My summer class starts tomorrow morning, so that’s a few more hours that I won’t be able to work around the house. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach, and goodness knows that the money will be handy, but zzzzz … I sure would like to sleep in! 🙂

Heading to higher places

Lift my eyes to the mountains

The view coming into Cedar City, UT

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was traveling to higher places (literally, the altitude is 5,800′) for a job interview. Some exciting things have transpired since then, but I needed to wait until I got my ducks in a row and had a chance to inform the need-to-know individuals (like all of the grandparents). Now that they are in the know, I will share with you that I will be joining the political science faculty at Southern Utah University, starting this fall!

Cedar City is a very kid-friendly town with a surprising number of recreational things to do indoors and out. It is a tremendous career opportunity for me, and the boys are ecstatic about living near snowy mountains. I will be teaching classes in the MPA (Master of Public Administration) program, as well as standard political science courses.

There are umpteen bazillion things that I need to do in the very near future, not the least of which include cleaning/purging/organizing and a few minor touch-ups around my house, so that I can put it on the market asap. My realtor is coming over next week, and the house isn’t fit for dinner company right now, much less a tour. We’ll get there, though. I am tasking the older two with making an inventory of larger-than-a-box items, such as furniture, appliances, electronics, instruments, etc., so that we can determine what is worth moving vs. giving away or selling. The younger ones are tasked with purging their stuffy-stuff collections and making piles to give and/or throw away. I used a tub of Play-Doh as an example: if it can be purchased at the dollar store, then it probably isn’t worth packing and transporting. I’ve also instructed everyone to set aside a couple of weeks’ worth of clothes and bag up the rest to save for next school year and/or hand-me-downs (the older 3) or give away (the younger 2). That’s something that I try to do every summer, anyway, but some years seem to work better than others.

I’ve been going through bookshelves and filling boxes to donate to the church library or exchange for credit at the used bookstore in town. (That may sound counter-intuitive, but if I get one new book by exchanging a couple of old books, then I’m still down by one book, right?? 🙂 )  As we get better organized, I’m going to set aside things in one room for a give-away to friends and family: books, DVDs, furniture that we won’t be moving, etc. Maybe I’ll even bribe some girlfriends to help me clean by offering to pay them in wine. Hey, it’s less fragile stuff to pack! 😉 Besides, Utah is one of those peculiar states that regulates alcohol coming across the state line. The more we drink before I go, the less complicated it’ll be. Hmm, then again, I could just put all the kids in one room and turn the basement into a wine cellar. Heehee, I’m kidding.

Maybe just part of the basement. 😉