Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Michigan Solstices

This is was the Solstices are like here in mid-Michigan (43 N latitude):

Summer Solstice, 10 p.m.: Ack! Doesn't it ever get dark outside?!

Winter Solstice, 10 a.m.: Ack! Doesn't it ever get light outside?!

According to Weather Underground, today we had 16.5 hours of visible daylight. I'm looking forward to October and November, when the number of hours of daylight and dark are more balanced -- and it's dark enough to sleep at 10 p.m.!

I took this photo of the sunset over Lake Michigan in Charlevoix, 45.3 N latitude, where they have slightly longer days than we do.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

We are 99% done moving. Tomorrow we'll move the last few odds and ends and clean the old apartment one last time before handing in our keys.

Now that most of our stuff is here (even if it isn't unpacked yet), it's starting to feel more like home. It's nice to be able to cook again instead of eating take-out. Speaking of our new appliances, I especially like the dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer.

The cats are relaxed and happy and enjoy exploring new corners or new bits of floor (each time we empty or move a box), helping us unpack, assemble new bookcases, etc.

I'm relieved to be nearly done running up and down the stairs. Since each apartment is on the second floor, I've been getting tons of exercise. One day I decided to count the number of trips I made up and down the stairs in one day but stopped counting at 30 because it was too depressing! After we are completely done moving I plan to do something less physically challenging, like run a marathon (I hear there are no stairs in those)!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Big Move

This afternoon we moved the cats to the new apartment. It went much better than I anticipated!

First we brought over all the cat paraphernalia (blankets, toys, food, treats, etc.) and I plugged in the Feliway (happy pheromone dispenser) in the bedroom.

Then we brought the cats. I sprayed the towel in each carrier with Feliway, of course. My husband coaxed Sophie, our neurotic Siamese Snowshoe, into the larger carrier and I put Saffron, our sweet little orange cat, in the small one. Sophie cried a little in the car, but there was no yowling or panicking. Whew!

In the new apartment we put the carriers on our bed and let the cats out. They quickly explored the bedroom, master bath, and walk-in closet. Both were fascinated by the shower stall and wanted that door open so they could go inside. LOL. Even clear doors must be open. :)

Saffron quickly wanted to explore the rest of the apartment and examined the place like she was deciding whether or not to buy it. In just 15 minutes she had made the rounds a few times, then went back the bedroom and started eating. That’s my adaptable girl!

Poor Sophie was very nervous and hid in the closet under my hanging clothes. She hissed at me a little and just wanted to hide. We were both afraid to leave her anywhere unsupervised, so we carried her back to the bedroom and closed the closet door. She explored the apartment for a while, then settled under my husband's desk and seems to want to stay there!

It’s now about 7:30 pm; the cats have been here since about 3. Saffron is clingy but eating and drinking. Sophie wasn’t interested in eating until I offered her some Gerber’s chicken baby food. Now she’s back under the desk.

This is going much better than I expected. What a relief!

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Joys and Sorrows of Moving

"Why aren't you blogging?" my lone reader asked. "I check your blog every day. Nothing new. It is because you are moving?"


Yes, my life is nothing but boxes -- at work and at home. At work, our department is about get remodeled. That means everything in my office had to be packed. That wouldn't have been so bad but the date was unexpectedly moved up. Naturally, it was moved up to the same time I was moving at home. SIGH.

Speaking of moving at home, let me just say for the record: I hate change and I hate moving, and when you've lived in one place for 15 years during which half your family died you accumulate a lot of stuff.

To make the move less stressful we've been spreading it out over about three weeks (we are now at the end of week 2). My husband and I have been busy sorting, packing, and moving small stuff. The new apartment is only about a mile away so we're slowly but surely getting a lot done. We're unpacking as much as we can as we go along and re-using the boxes, one of advantages of moving nearby. Tuesday the movers will come for the furniture and Wednesday the cable TV/Internet will be hooked up at the new place. Tuesday or Wednesday we'll move the cats and the worst will be over.

Why are we moving to a new apartment instead of a house? Yes, I really want a house but I want to find the right house -- and right now if we buy one we don't really like we won't be able to sell it.

The new apartment is like a condo (huge kitchen, three bedrooms, two baths, laundry room, etc.) so we'll have a lot more room. It has all hardwood floors and I'm hoping the lack of carpet will mean I don't need to take my allergy medicine in the winter. Although it's much larger than our old apartment, I think we actually have less wall space for bookcases and floorspace for desks so we are now deciding what to put in storage.

Between losing Uncle Bob, moving at work, and moving at home, I feel pretty overwhelmed. Grief counseling is helping, slowly but surely, and after we are done moving I plan on spending the rest of the summer relaxing, recuperating, and doing nothing (except blogging)!

If you need a daily blog fix, read Mitch Gann's Boomer Blog by one of my colleagues. It's wonderfully funny!

PS: I should mention that physical and moral support from our dear friends Laurie, John, and Denise during this move are priceless.