18 July 2014

SQTF 95: Settling down

I'm sorry; it has been a ridiculously long time since I've posted, and I miss it! There are still a few too many balls in the air at the Shifflerhaus, but hopefully linking up with Seven Quick Takes today will help me ease back into posting more regularly.

We've moved! Moving day was officially last Saturday—we brought over a lot of boxes on Thursday night and Friday, but Saturday my dad and brother both brought their pickup trucks and carted all of our furniture to the new place. We got the bedroom put together that evening so we'd have a bed to sleep on, and have slowly been putting the house to rights since. Little Bear's had a hard time adjusting to being in a new place: I haven't been getting a whole lot done until Matt gets home from work, because it seems like every five minutes Little Bear is crying and begging to be picked up again. He's getting better about it, though, and I got more organizing done this morning than I was able to do all day yesterday.

After living the last three years in a suburb, we're both loving that our new place is out of town, out in the woods. Our driveway:

It's a little more rural than where I spent most of my growing-up years, a little less "modern civilization" than many places: We can't see any neighbors from any of our windows (and this place has a lot of windows!). Matt is currently pricing out cords of wood, chainsaws, and axes; we'll need to split about three cords before the end of September to help heat the house this winter. Last weekend we picked up two 7-gallon water jugs, and joined the ranks of those who haul their own water. Our well water is okay for showers and washing clothes or dishes, but not for cooking and drinking. More work than city living? Sure. But we love it.

Being farther out of town, it's been a bit more of a challenge to get phone and internet service. Only one ISP covers our area, and we are right at the edge of their coverage for DSL. Because Matt works in video conferencing and has to be able to occasionally work from home, we wouldn't have been able to live here without adequate internet. That finally got set up on Wednesday, and because for some reason it costs the same amount whether you add a landline phone or not, we now have a "real" phone! Cell phone coverage is pretty spotty out here, and Matt's phone can only reliably make or receive calls if he's standing on the corner of the deck, so he's been working with AT&T customer service for the past couple of evenings trying to find a way to fix that. I've appreciated finally having a local number on the landline, because AT&T won't let us change our cell numbers to a local area code and I've felt badly that my mom has had to call me long-distance even though we live in the same town.

What is your least-favorite part of moving? Mine has to be organizing a new kitchen. Every kitchen is set up differently—you can't just put everything in the same place it was in the old kitchen. And things have to be located in the right places: best use of space, convenient to where/how things will be used, easy to access and keep things organized... I spend so much time thinking about it, organizing, reorganizing, it takes me forever to get the kitchen set up. It's still not done, but I think it's getting there:  I finally got most of the dry goods and cans into cupboards this morning.

One of my favorite things about this house, though, is the attached garage. Little Bear and I made our first post-move trip to the grocery store this morning, and unloading the car was so much easier! No more leaving him in the car or house to yell or cause trouble while I ran back and forth: he sat in the doorway and watched me bring all of the bags inside, then helped me move them to the kitchen. He's very interested in the garage (which he pronounces "gah-raj-da"), and spends a ridiculous amount of time hanging on the doorknob and trying to convince me to let him play out there.

Fortunately that door is heavy and sticks just the littlest bit, because the other day he learned to open all of the other doors in the house. He thinks it's the funniest thing in the world to run around opening and closing closets and the bathroom door, shutting himself in and then popping out again with a huge grin on his face. I'm just grateful that he wasn't interested in closing doors at all before this, so he never shut himself in a room and was unable to get out.

One non-new-house take? Okay. This weekend, Fairbanks celebrates "Golden Days," the sort-of-anniversary of gold being discovered here and Fairbanks being founded. It's kind of more a celebration of the gold rush era than a particular event, and there's a lot going on: a parade, a rubber duckie race down the river that runs through downtown, live music and dancing, the Alaska state BBQ championship, the governor's annual picnic, and the annual Red Green River Regatta where people build boats out of mostly duct tape and try to race down the river without sinking... My family's parish is celebrating its 110th anniversary this weekend as well. I hope we'll be able to take part in some of the fun, but I should really try to get a lot of writing done on my current freelance project while Matt is around to help with Little Bear. And of course it would be nice to finish unpacking... So I guess we will have to see.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Ahh, couldn't you turn the camera around in the driveway and give us a pic of the shifflerhaus?

    Now I want to come visit you more than ever.

  2. So exciting! I second Jamie-- I *really* want to come visit you! Hope the settling in goes well and that Jude gets comfortable with sleeping in the new place soon.