Monday, June 30, 2008

Busy pictures

I keep thinking I want to make sure to include pictures when I post, but if I wait till I get the gumption to process pictures, we could all be waiting a while, so here's a recap of the week sans pictures.

Birthday girl
That was me last Saturday, and it was a great party. In an unusual turn of events, everyone who said they would show up actually did and a person or two who hadn't said they would come showed up. It was a good mix of family, old Apple friends, cruise buddies, neighbors, business owners turned friends, and one high school chum. I will get to processing pictures...soon...I promise.

Tom's eastern North Carolina Barbeque-style was a hit. Most tried and liked the "traditional" sandwich by piling the coleslaw on top of the barbeque on the mini-buns made just for us by Market of Choice. The appetizers brought by friends, my Bill Neal shortcake with Oregon strawberries and, sweet tea (to complete the southern theme) and we all ate quite well.

What a great way to turn 50!

Move-in days
Monday we headed to IKEA to pick up a bed frame and dresser for my mom, then down to Wilsonville to wait for the guys from Take Care Move Assistance to arrive. Somehow we'd managed to fill the moving container in pretty short order, just the two of us, but we were very glad we hired Bill and his guy because to move the contents of the box from the loading area up three floors and down the hall 150 paces (Tom size...he counted) to my mom's new apartment. What took them 1 1/2 hours would surely have taken us the full day. And there was time left on the clock for them to build my mom's bed. Now you just cannot beat that.

We had decided that it was best to start her new apartment experience Tuesday morning so everyone was fresh. So we packed her clothes that we'd moved via Alaska Airlines baggage check and headed over, where even more clothes were waiting. Thanks to neighbor Laurie, we had enough hangers to accomodate without having to make a side trip to the Container Store. We made our first grocery store trip and inagurated the refrigerator. Tom built the dining table (chairs having been built on Monday) and the entertainment unit.

Wednesday the dresser was built, the new phone programmed, and the TV set up (except we couldn't find the remote), and my mom had spent her first night in Wilsonville. She seemed pretty spunky and on seeing her yesterday, she is settling in quite nicely. She's doing something she could never have done in Sun City West - walking Tootsie outside twice a day. We have lovely weather and her new pacemaker to thank for that, I think.

Lest you think I was slacking when we weren't hanging with my mom: I also managed four morning walks and a belated birthday lunch at Zeppo's in Lake Oswego; had printed 200 Columbia River Sewing Guild newsletters which I then (with a little help from my cool hubby) stapled, addressed, stamped and posted; located a long lost cousin to whom my mom wanted to send an address change; made and sent out the address change notices; and made and sent out thank you notes.

Baltic Blossoms
And I finally managed to get in some forward progress knitting on Saturday.

I started the border in early June when we were in AZ. I took out 6 rows of said border when we were in AZ. I thought was my first attempt at nupps but in researching a definition, I find that I must have knit them in Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail. At any rate, they were giving me fits (k1,YO,k1,YO,k1 into one stitch, purl 5 back). I didn't like the results so in my second (or maybe third) attempt I found that knitting into the front and back of the stitch for five stitches made it much easier to purl back. Still, after making unfixable mistakes, I ended up pulling out 16 rows of border (over 200 sts each) without winding the yarn as I went and then spending the ensuing day untangling the yarn. The next time(s?) I did it, I wound the yarn so resuming wasn't to difficult.

Saturday, with no distractions, and Sliding Doors (which I've seen many times) in the background, I whipped out 32 rows of the border without so much as a hitch. Go figure.

My projects for today are to get to the last set of border rows, and do laundry which I don't think I've been caught up on since March. Maybe this week.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We're having a party

Today I celebrate 50 years. Funny it doesn't feel like 50 years (except I have to wear cheaters to read, and color the obnoxious gray hairS...)

It occurred to me just now that this will be the first birthday since I was 20 that I'll spend in the company of my mom. Now THAT's a great gift!

And it's a great excuse for a party, and I invited a lot of dear friends. We'll have a house full of about 25 people, including my good friend Alistair, who gets honorable mention because he's flying up from San Jose.

And Mark (who hasn't seen my mom since our wedding nearly 26 years ago!) is driving down from Seattle.

I'm off to make shortcake for to go with the yummy local strawberries we'll get today.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

'Bye Sun City West

After 15 years living in Sun City West, my Mom is now living in Oregon. For the next two weeks, she'll be staying with us and then she'll move to her apartment in Wilsonville, when all her things arrive.

Tom and I flew out two weeks ago Wednesday to help her pack and clean up. We rented the smallest moving container from Door-to-Door which arrived on schedule on Thursday. Over the course of the ensuing four days, we proceeded to pack boxes, sort out donations, fold clothes, fill bags, fill and paint, and clean.

On Friday, Ginny and George from What Goes Around arrived to start loading up the furniture, lamps, pictures, appliances, and little decorative goodies for consignment. Ginny was a pleasure to work with and we thank her and George for taking all the large items off our hands for consignment. It made it much easier for us to concentrate on what was coming to Oregon, instead of worrying about the disposition of those things that were not. It was a two-day project for George, and helper Bob - getting everything loaded into their trailer, but by the end of the day on Saturday the house was empty.

It was thanks the hard work of Parke and Jennifer Heffern, that this all happened. It was their marketing of the house, and understanding of how to work with the residents of the Sun Cities, that got my mom's house sold. There were times when we were sure my mom was going to change her mind, but Parke and Jennifer seemed to keep her on track, we got an offer after only three months (quick for that market) and my mom is now in Oregon.

So, my point is this: if you or someone you know is planning to move from the NW Phoenix area - Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, Sun City Festival, Corte Bella et, al, we highly recommend working with Parke and Jennifer, and Ginny and George. Though we haven't received my mom's moving container (it takes a week to 10 days), based on the experiences we've had with Door-to-Door (and their pricing structure), they are a good moving container company to work with if you're planning to move yourself, but don't want to rent and drive a truck (and with gas prices where they are, who would?)

A funny note
In packing, we filled the small container, shipped two 3 cu ft boxes via UPS and filled my mom's Honda Civic, allowing just enough room for Tom to see out as he drove it from Sun City West to West Linn. When entering the state of California by car, you have to stop at Agricultural Inspection stations. Their job is to prevent potentially diseased produce from entering the state and compromising their crops.

Inspector: "Do you have any food?"
Tom: "Some energy bars and a bologna sandwich."
Inspector: "Is there any lettuce or tomatoes on your sandwich?"
Tom: "Yes, a very small piece of iceberg lettuce."
Inspector: "You'll have to eat the lettuce."

So Tom ate the 4x4 inch piece of lettuce so he could enter the state of California on his trip home.

The rest of the drive was boring by comparison, but he did make it all the way to Redding on day one and was home before we arrived.