Fingers Crossed

So . . . . I think we’ve actually found a moving company that’s going to work out? Basically what originally happened was we called a moving company to come out and give us an estimate for moving our stuff. We let them wander the house and pointed out what we planned to take and not take. Some important information about us is that we rent a two bedroom house. We do not have a ton of excess furniture and we have exactly zero major appliances (that we own). I was legitimately worried that we would not meet the MINIMUM weight.

That first company then came back to us and said we had over 5,000 lbs worth of stuff. To which we responded with total confusion. WHERE do we have that much stuff? Is there another whole apartment hiding under Rosalind’s bed? I went online to see how much couches and mattresses weigh. Was it significantly more than I had imagined? No!

So then I found an online moving cost calculator, and it turns out that if you enter that you have a 2 bedroom house into an online moving calculator, it will say that you have about 5,000 lbs worth of stuff and (I know this part is shocking) give you an insane estimate that matched the first moving company exactly.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel taken care of as an individual customer. I was pretty darn sure we had nothing like 5,000 lbs worth of stuff. We just don’t own that much, and we’ve already shipped our books through the mail!

We called up one more moving company that seemed way more reasonable over the phone. I also prepared a list of the MUST MOVE items in each room. Like, a literal list that I typed up by room and then shoved into her hands before she had cleared our front door. It was pretty minimal, to be honest. After wandering our house and perusing our list, the lady turned to me and said, “You know you have to meet a minimum weight requirement, right?”

Ha! I knew it! The minimum weight requirement is only 1,000 lbs of stuff! And she thought we might not have it if I stuck to my list! I knew it!

So I assured her that I would also be happy to take that thing there and maybe that thing too, and we received a perfectly reasonable quote yesterday.

Frankly, we’re still probably paying more to move our stuff than it is worth, but it means I don’t have to make very many “emotional cost” decisions at all. I like that.

It’s also a great relief because it means that I don’t have to sell all* of our stuff. Before all of this is said and done, Sergio will have to move a bit before Rosalind and me. I will be left to sell whatever we don’t take. By hiring a moving company, I now only have the responsibility to pack everything up in boxes and then let a moving company come load it up in a truck and drive it a long damn way. It’s definitely the easiest outcome for me.

I told you I would keep you updated on the nitty gritty details of moving whether you wanted me to or not, and I think I have kept my word. The excitement never stops over here at Two Somewhat Different Epigrams.

*We still plan to sell a whole lot of stuff. Anybody want some of our stuff? I have a pretty desk, some bookshelves, a coffee table, a sofa table, a twin bed, knickknacks out the wazoo, and an old Volvo (that you can pick up at the airport in May) available now! Hit me up.

What I Meant to Say, Briefly

So I started about five different blog posts each morning before jury duty started, then I would close the computer down because we were starting a session, and by the time I got back to whatever I had written, it always seemed out of date.

So in order of what I tried to write but never finished:

  1. Rolo recovered from being sick by the next morning and went to school no worse for the wear. Neither Sergio nor I caught the bug after her. Miracles happen.
  2. Jury duty brought out my more impatient tendencies and I spent some time thinking up ways in which my fellow jurors might one day suffer in the same way I was suffering.
  3. Happy Valentine’s Day! We did nothing for it, per usual. We did pick Rosalind up a balloon and some chocolate and a book. Perhaps we’ll try to honor it better as a holiday on Saturday. Maybe Valentine’s should always fall on a weekend? I feel the same way about Halloween. We need to scrap this whole date thing and instead attach it to a day – like we do Thanksgiving. Valentine’s should always be the second Saturday of February. Halloween should just fall on the last Friday night in October. Makes more sense, right?
  4. It is not fair that I got sick (allergies to the point of raw scary face) while already out for jury duty. I was out of work but still working? Lame.

I think those are pretty much the things I tried to cover. I also started a post about where we are with a plan to move or sell our furniture, but the gist was that we don’t have a plan yet. We should have a bit more information to work with soon, so I’ll report back when I know. I’ll just say that it’s not looking so great on the keeping my stuff front. We did go ahead and sell a few more things in the meantime. Bye bye kayak and super insulated cooler! We then went out and bought a smaller super insulated cooler that takes up less space in the car. Tradesies! Oh, and a roof cage for the Subaru. We’re going to make that little car haul every last item that it can!

The Lesser of Two Evils

I find myself with some unexpected time to write a blog post today because rather than sitting for the third of my six days of grand jury duty, I am instead home with a vomit-plagued child.

Pretty sure I found some unexpected vomit as I walked through the kitchen just now. It’s not that I didn’t know she had puked here, it’s just that I clearly missed an important angle or needed additional light or something when I was cleaning this spot at 5 am. Parenting is the most glamorous job. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It wasn’t long ago that I uttered the statement, “I don’t know…is this how far your bones normally stick out? Let me see your other arm,” to my child after she injured herself at a trampoline park. These two situations pretty much wrap up parenthood. Comparing your kids arm bones to see if she broke something and finding surprise vomit in the kitchen.

Sidebar: Yes, that is how far her bones normally stick out.

You know it’s a really great week in your household when you are awakened at 5 am to a panicked child telling you that they puked. a lot. and didn’t make it to the bathroom on time. And your reaction is, “Well, at least I get out of jury duty today.”

If patience is a finite resource that you have to parcel out over a lifetime, jury duty has nearly hit the bottom of my bucket. Whatever interest it held was gone by the afternoon of the first day, and then we went into overtime. Let me just say, while it sounds like a good idea to put our peers in between ourselves and the unfettered power of the government, I’m not sure we should be putting quite so much faith in the intelligence and understanding of our peers. It’s not like I’m even the sharpest lighbulb in the toolshed, ya know? But I have been FLOORED watching this process for two days. Yeesh. That’s all I can really say. YEESH!

So, yeah. I should probably go check on Rosalind now. I’m periodically needed to readjust blankets, change trash can angles in case of emergency, bring popcicles, and find better tv options. Glam.or.ous.


The Sun Also…You Know the Rest

It’s February now. I feel like the passage of January should be met with a significant change in the weather. Instead, we are still hovering right around -30 degrees. Darn it, Alaska. Quit behaving exactly like you are supposed to at this time of year!

On a pleasant note – I did NOT miss the turn to get to Rosalind’s piano teacher’s house yesterday. I have missed the turn five out of the last six weeks. Why did I manage it this time? Because the sun was still above the horizon! I do appreciate how quickly we gain back daylight.

Here, I took a picture of the sun being out earlier in the morning than usual over the weekend. Now that I look closer, I realize the time stamp on the photo says it was almost 11 am when I took this picture, so not really that early for the sun. Still pretty.

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Can you feel the cold in this picture? I feel like the trees are just as worn out with it as I am.

Let Me Life Coach You

I have advice! Lucrative advice because I am clearly winning at life in all ways.

First, however you have been eating your pot roast leftovers in the past has been the wrong way unless you’ve been doing it the way that I am about to show you. This is the ONLY way to eat your pot roast leftovers. Actually, there isn’t really a bad way to have pot roast leftovers, but this is the definitive BEST way.

These are loaded steak fries covered in leftover pot roast, gravy, jack cheese, olives, pickled jalapenos, and green onions. Be smarter than me, and put your cheese against the warm fries and gravy so that it melts. Sergio was smarter than me. He also said he would have preferred regular sized fries, but he is wrong.

Second, don’t eat these before a workout.

I DO recommend them as a great little snack at most times because I love all sour or spicy pickles (sweet pickles are a crime), but not before you go run on a treadmill for a few miles. It will give you the most intense indigestion, which is uncomfortable enough, but it will also cause you to burp spicy pickle burps at everyone on treadmills near you. Nobody wants that.

Third, just go ahead and buy yourself that second pair of sweatpants because life is too short to spend unnecessary time in skinny jeans. I mean, you should definitely wear your real pants to work or actual events, but any other time should be sweat pants, pajama pants, or overalls. Thirty-five has been the year where I have realized that I don’t have patience for more than six hours of tight clothing per weekday. Weekends are all sweats all the time. No, I don’t look good in them. No, I don’t care. But I’m also not providing photographic evidence.

Go live your best lives, guys.


I Lost My Point Along The Way

So now that the good news is out of the way, it’s time for all of the whining and complaining and anxiety involved with the moving process. Aren’t we all excited?

We have already started the process…kind of…sort of. We have someone coming out to give us an estimate on moving our stuff. We already know that media mail through USPS is cheaper than any estimate per pound we might get, so we have three or four boxes of books sitting around our house (and another two or three to go). They are not so heavy that they won’t go through media mail, but they are heavy enough that I haven’t worked up the gumption to put them in the car and then haul them into the post office. We also finally got around to selling our old couch that has been sitting in our garage for over a year. It sold FAST! One of those things that makes you realize you really should have done that a while ago. We also have someone coming tonight for Rosalind’s big dollhouse which actually sold faster than the couch but hasn’t been picked up yet.

Those are the only big items we know we plan to sell though. We have some small items that would make sense to sell in a garage sale, but we’ll see how I’m feeling in late April or early May for that part. I would really like to bring the rest with me. It probably makes more sense to sell everything and start from scratch, but I am so tired of doing that. I want my stuff! Stuff that I’m sure won’t fit into the next place we live, and I’ll wonder why I hauled it across two countries and question all of my decisions. But it’s my STUFF. I’ve already lived almost four years without all the stuff we left stored in Arkansas. It’s time I fulfill my hoarding destiny. We’ll see how it all pans out. I’ll keep you posted on all the nitty gritty details. Much to your chagrin.

In the meantime, some people have wondered how Rosalind has taken the news. She’s excited and worried and waffles back and forth regularly. This was not something we sprung on her out of nowhere. She has always dutifully recited the timeline that we told her from the start. We have also discussed the idea of moving like clockwork since we arrived in Alaska. We began planning a tentative exit strategy about a year ago, and have kept her aware of options ever since. As the prospect became more and more plausible, she began to be more vocal about maybe not wanting to move. So when we told her we were moving, she was just excited to hear it was back near family and friends, and relieved to no longer be wondering where and when. Periodically she’ll have a moment of regret when she has a fun time with friends or thinks too long about having to start fresh somewhere, but she’s pretty enthusiastic so far. In fact, we sold her dollhouse because she pointed to it and said, “I don’t have to take that,” without any prompting. The plan is to eventually fill that metaphorical space with a guinea pig. Metaphorical in the sense that it won’t be the exact physical space the dollhouse vacated because we’ll have moved. You get what I’m saying, right? But I guess it’s also sort of the literal space because it’s unlikely she could have a guinea pig habitat and that huge dollhouse in the same bedroom and still have a bed…….I’ve really spiraled down a rabbit hole here and can’t seem to claw my way back out.

We’re bribing our kid with the promise of a guinea pig, so she’s fine to move. That’s really what I’m saying. The move has also had an unexpected advantage in that when we told her orthodontists we will be moving, they stopped waiting for her incoming teeth month after month and instead performed something akin to having your cuticles pushed back on the half-emerged teeth and gums. It was apparently quite painful, but now there is an end-date in sight with the braces. We’re planning a sticky candy party. She’s excited.

Guinea pigs and candy parties as antidote to difficult childhood milestones. I’m going to write a parenting book.

I think this eloquent and surprising card that Rosalind made me after being in a bad mood one morning last week proves that I’m doing everything right. Right?

Full Circle

I won’t bury the lede, guys. Here is the news –

Sergio accepted a new job.

In Arkansas.

In Fayetteville, to be exact.

It’s almost like when we told people four years ago that we planned to move to Alaska for about three years to get ahead in some areas of our lives and then return to our hometown afterward, we actually knew that plan would work out. We totally didn’t! I’m legitimately more surprised than anyone that it has worked out as we said it would (plus one year because it’s hard to walk away from the financial side of Alaska, not gonna lie).

Even though I won’t be back in Arkansas for good until May 22nd, I already have my first three weeks of food worked out. No other plans are in place yet. Just the restaurants. Priorities!

The best thing about this move is not being close to family and friends, or being back in my favorite town, or having normal amounts of daylight and darkness, or even the fact that Eliot will get to spend his remaining years NOT being tortured into shoes and coats three times a day. No, the best part is the fact that I have procrastinated getting a few things done for almost four years now. Things like changing most of my online settings (my Pandora has kept me informed of all the best car deals in Fayetteville all these years, and this blog still thinks it’s on Central time), or establishing a bank account at a bank that has a branch in Alaska. And now I never have to. Procrastination for the win…AGAIN!

There will be lots more moving posts coming, but for now, let’s just stick with…Yay! WE”RE COMING HOME!


My Other Teacher Talent (Bladder Control is the First)

These are the sounds I was able to identify with 100% accuracy yesterday without ever looking up from whatever I was doing.

  1. An iPhone falling from a back pocket and hitting the carpeted classroom floor.
  2. A fidget spinner spinning.
  3. A Rubik’s cube being completed in what the culprit hoped would be a record time among his friends.
  4. The sound of “not the video clip I assigned” coming out of earbuds that were in a student’s ears across the room.
  5. A thunderous, wet sounding fart. But then, who can’t identify that one? The only thing I will say is that I’ve been doing this long enough that I can tell you with certainty that the kid was as shocked as anyone when he didn’t get away with the quiet zinger he was expecting.

I think we can agree that my life is very glamorous.

Sledding On The Slough

Our neighbors have been shoveling sledding paths into the frozen slough. I have done my yearly pep talk to myself that it’s perfectly safe by now. It rained on us last night and created slick icy conditions which are a nuisance in every way but sledding.

Rolo is out taking advantage of these events as we speak.

This One Has No Direction Whatsoever

Hey, Arkansas friends and family, I hear you are colder than us today. With windchill, you guys are experiencing negative temperatures. Having fun yet?

Sorry if I’m taking a sick pleasure in this development. It’s only because I know it will be fairly short-lived for you. My friends will be having beers on sunny patios come mid-February while I am still looking outside mid-morning wondering where the sun is and whether my car will freeze into an ice cube if the outlet trips. So just let me have this moment.

Meanwhile, we’re having an unusual warm snap for January. I took Eliot out yesterday morning and he basked in the low twenty degree weather. He is old enough now that when he steps outside on the really frigid days, he can’t stop sneezing. If he starts sneezing right away, he’ll just plop himself down right in front of the door and clearly state with his body language, “F#*! you guys. This is stupid” So I’m not joking when I say he basked in the warmth. He wandered around, took a little jog, and just generally sniffed around to his heart’s content. No sneezies.


Eliot is “Sleeps On A Heating Pad” Years Old.

We spent one part of our long weekend checking out the rock climbing gym as a family. Rosalind has taken a keen interest in obstacle courses and general athleticism lately because she LOVES the Netflix show Ultimate Beastmaster. She recognized quickly that the best competitors were rock climbers. So off we went to the climbing gym.

I realized while we were there that though Sergio and I used to do this sort of thing multiple times a week, it has been at least ten years since we have done so with regularity and probably four since we have set foot in a climbing gym at all. Having kids can really warp your sense of time. If I hadn’t added it up, I would have told you I used to climb just a couple of years ago. Needless to say, I’m weak and sore in the forearm and hand area. We all had fun, but Rosalind really ate it up. Maybe we’ll find ourselves incorporating that back into our lives soon. There are lovely big bean bags in which I can rest my old, weak body while watching her. Also they have a ping pong table, and Sergio and I have always been suckers for ping pong.