Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2007

I bought pumpkins for the new house!

So festive. :-) This picture is actually a little bit amusing, as it was taken after realizing that we had to move the pumpkins left about a foot and a half. The garage door kicks out when it opens, and so the first time we went to hit the switch post-pumpkin-purchase, it neatly booted the backs of the things and sent them rolling down the driveway. Oops!! (I’m sure we could make some sort of great suburban sport out of that if we tried... driveway pumpkin bowling, anyone?) They’ve been relocated out of the line of fire and don’t seem any the worse for wear.

We’re almost, almost done moving the apartment – just some last fish tank things and cleaning supplies remain. I had to document the nth trip, since my car has earned countless points for usefulness in the last few weeks. It’s 3.1 miles from apartment to house, and I think I’ve done just under 20 loads in that time. Not too bad, especially since that meant we could just reuse all of the packing supplies that we kept from the wedding and unpack in between trips.

The best part of all these trips has to be the sunsets – the mountains have been out a surprising number of the days. I took a slight detour to see the prettiness from the 405 pedestrian overpass.

Too lovely.

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Week Eight

October 30, 2007

Yeah! A win! (75-68) This was a bye week for a lot of my players, but I was so impressed with Brees (who thought I'd ever say THAT?!) and the Patriots defense for floating things along. I picked up yet another new tight end off of waivers, who did well by scoring a point -- not super, but no real complaints. LT was a little slow, as was Stallworth, but I was so pleased to see Reggie Brown have a good game, even if he was sitting on the bench. (And the Eagles won -- nice!)

QB Drew Brees, NO 30
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD 9
WR Marty Booker, Mia 1
WR Donte' Stallworth, NE 4
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 2
TE Matt Schobel, Phi 1
D/ST Patriots 18
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE10
QB Damon Huard, KC (BYE) 0
QB Jason Campbell, Was 0
RB Marion Barber, Dal (BYE) 0
RB Michael Pittman, TB 0
WR Deion Branch, Sea (BYE) 0
WR Reggie Brown, Phi 11
TE Alex Smith, TB 0
K Matt Stover, Bal (BYE) 0

For visual interest, here are the five enormous trees in our backyard:

...and the even huger ones in the side yard.

Our town has rules about how many trees you can cut down, but since we have a largish lot, we get to take down up to eight a year. All of them have to be replaced with smaller trees (unless we want to pay a fee to the town). Get rid of the monster dark pines and gain some fruit trees? Or some small maples? Anyone have small, hardy tree varieties that they can recommend for the pacific northwest?

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Temp housing for the dudes

October 29, 2007

The move on Saturday went extremely quickly, thanks in no small part to help from our Boston friends Shawn and Sanna, and their puppy William Wallace. :-)

I was so grateful not to be the one trying to heft mattresses and couches and the TV. Not only is it so nice to have all of the furniture moved (the house has finally stopped echoing!), but they were such great company. In all, we only spent about two trips and 4 hours of loading, driving and unloading the UHaul. The boys stopped in the middle to go play football, and then we all went out to watch game three of the series in the evening.

Even the weather cooperated.

Blue skies and perfect temps after a week of drizzly cold.

I'll post house-with-furniture pictures once we're a little bit more organized. :-)

The fishtank move on Sunday was a bit more of a challenge. By mid-afternoon, we'd moved all of the dudes into temporary homes, with lights, current, heat, filtration and circulation. We brought about 60 gallons of water over from the apartment to lessen the transition. (Between our wonderful friends, we were able to borrow 7 carbuoys -- the huge glass jugs used for brewing beer -- which made the water transport in the car MUCH easier, if still pretty heavy.)

Here are the clowns hanging out in a tupperware on the counter:

And reunited with the PVC in their new temporary digs:

The clowns *really* didn't like my attempts to catch them with the net for transport, but once they were both together in the quarantine tank and were able to hide in the PVC for a breather, they calmed down quite quickly, and even ate dinner.

Here's our green tub of rocks and corals, all lit up:

It looks quite sensational with the blue lights in that green tub. Here's a slightly less glowing photo, taken before we put the skimmer in. (You can use the futon for scale -- it's a pretty big tub.)

The corals are out and look pretty happy, which is a relief.

We've now moved just about all of the equipment. I hit the point of total exhaustion around 8:30 pm, when the water was out of both tanks, but we still have about 40 pounds of sand. I'll finish getting that out tonight, and then we can wash the tanks, and transport them and the stand tomorrow. So, we aren't done, but it's progress!

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A soothing mountain shot

October 25, 2007

Nothing exciting on the house front (just lots of trips to move books and canned goods -- heavy! -- plus some spackling, which doesn't make for showy photos), and so here are the mountains from the top of the street.

I've been trying so hard to not think about how much I'll miss the apartment -- I'm so bad at transitions, and while I love the new house it's not home yet. (It's probably bad timing with the move and the Series, but now I'm also having dreams about leaving the Boston apartment. Sad.) The new house is still mostly checklists and echoing spaces. Furniture and rugs will help a lot (and I can see myself doing all my favourite things in the right places: eating, cooking, curling up to read, quilting and NPR, TV and knitting...) and I'm looking forward to the first night that we actually sleep there (Saturday), but it's still alien and the (increasingly empty) apartment is the comforting place to retreat to at the end of the evening to eat dinner and watch the Red Sox.

We've made a lot of progress on the appliances and services front. After many phone calls, Sears WILL give us our refrigerator (yay!!) on the 31st -- a week later than hoped, but we can ferry the frozen fish food back from the apartment for the last 3 days of October, and things will be cold soon enough that we can transfer food instead of tossing it or trying to take over unsuspecting eastside friends' refrigerators... Lowes is dropping our new washer and dryer off the same day. Verizon installs our DSL on Wednesday, too, and I have appointments for the plumber and installation people to give estimates, the furnace people to come do furnace maintenance, and the chimney people to come clean the two chimneys. (Sounds like I'll be taking a vacation day...)

And thanks for all of the encouraging moving emails and comments -- they've helped so much. :-) It's nice to have such a group of people well-wishing us along. :-)

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Thank goodness we kept those textbooks

October 24, 2007

When I got to the house last night, I found Kevin in the laundry room, putting the final touches on this impressive structure.

We’ve been a bit flummoxed by how to remove the laundry cabinet. It’s incredibly solid (read: heavy), and it looks like they must have taken the door frames off the two doors to get it into position, since it’s wider than the space between them. Since we did NOT want to remove the door frames, and there wasn’t enough room to rotate it, the only option was to cut it up. It wasn’t attached to the wall directly – it rested on a bunch of boards nailed to the back and sides of the room. However, with that weight pressing down on the boards, we couldn’t get purchase to pry them out of the wall. So, the final remaining option was just to cut the thing in pieces way up in the air and them remove the cabinet in bits. I’d proposed using jacks to keep those big cabinet pieces from crashing down – Kevin apparently improvised with crutches, old computer science theory textbooks, and dead xboxes that he brought home from work.

Dorky, but it did the trick! Here’s Kevin hammering and spackling an hour later.

The new washer and dryer arrive in a week, so the paint, new floor, and cabinets should be up by then. Busy, but exciting!!

Less glamourous but still cool: we have a light in the garage now! Kevin went and bought a new florescent bulb and it’s such a huge improvement, especially since it seems to be getting darker a good 10 minutes earlier each day.

I’m finally at the point where the kitchen is starting to feel in hand. Everything’s been scrubbed, I’ve added shelf paper to all of the deep base cabinets (a major improvement!), and I finally went around today and figured out where everything should go. Some of the things aren’t quite as logical as I’d like, but since some of the slide-out drawers are in much better shape than others, I tried to make sure that things we use daily are in the less-finicky drawers.

The first (small) load of kitchen things has already been put away. I stayed up last night packing the kitchen in the apartment (made it about 2/3 of the way through – not too bad given how much pantry-type food we seem to have), so it’s getting a lot closer. We still don’t have a delivery date for the new fridge, though, so it’s making me sad to pack our cooking things when the new kitchen isn’t really ready yet. I can’t believe it’s only 4 more days until we move into the new place for good!


Week Seven

October 23, 2007

Oops, not the best fantasy week. It didn’t look promising from the outset, since it’s LT’s bye week, and I have a bench full of hurt players (Deion Branch, Alex Smith, Michael Pittman). I picked up a new tight end and threw in Marty Booker to play a full lineup, but lost 64-72. Bummer. The opposing team tried their worst – they regularly break 100 – and the opposing quarterback even threw in a -8 point performance, but it just wasn’t enough. If I’d swapped kickers and played Brown instead of Booker, I could have tied, and then won (ties go to the team with the most QB points, as I learned the hard way in Week 3), but that’s totally hindsight.

QB Drew Brees, NO 14
RB Marion Barber, Dal 15
WR Marty Booker, Mia 2
WR Donte' Stallworth, NE 11
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 13
TE Quinn Sypniewski 1
D/ST Patriots 6
K Matt Stover, Bal2
QB Damon Huard, KC 3
QB Jason Campbell, Was 0
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD (BYE)0
RB Michael Pittman, TB 0
WR Deion Branch, Sea 0
WR Reggie Brown, Phi 5
TE Alex Smith, TB 0
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE7

For visual interest, here are pictures of the mountains as I left for work this morning!

Those pretty, clear blue skies are NOT the October norm. I’m more happy than usual to get views of the Olympics in the morning (which is saying something) now that we’re down to those last few days.

And, leaving work at 5:30, Rainier was glowing out over the foothills.

(I had a photo without the garage foreground, but I actually like this one better. That mountain is amazing because it totally overwhelms the rest of the landscape – it just draws the eye.)

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On to the World Series!!

October 21, 2007

We just spent the last few hours watching the Red Sox earn their way into the world series!! What an awesome game, and how much fun for the next week!! I’ve been hit all evening with such strong nostalgia for my Boston apartment (it was just blocks from Fenway – quite the middle of things), and for who/where we were in 2004 during the last series when we’d just barely transplanted ourselves out to Seattle.

I’m sure that the new state of the living room wasn’t helping things:

I’m reveling in the emptiness, especially compared to the state of things circa Thursday. (I’m reposting the picture, just so that you can get the full effect. Wow, right?)

That said, it feels SO cyclical and like when we first moved in that I’m having sympathetic pangs for myself during that stage of life.

We spent the early afternoon getting the kayaks on the car for their voyage to the new home. The racks went on very quickly compared to last time, but we got a bit bogged down in finding all of the screws and straps for the attachments.

The exciting news is that we have a garage (it just doesn’t lose its magic when I repeat that phrase! Such possibility and freedom!)and so now I can (1) take the racks off my car so that they don’t whistle when I drive, and (2) we can store the racks with the attachments screwed on!! That’ll save us a good 25 minutes of screwing bolts every time we want to take the boats out – I’m psyched. Just put the racks on (5 min), lock them (1 min), boats on (8 min), and tie down (5 min, depending on organization level). Pretty cool!! And I can’t say how happy I am that this was the last time navigating the boats around the fish tank, over the front porch railing, and down to street level. I won’t miss that.

In new house news, we have carpet samples for the family room!!

We’d both liked this carpet on day one, when we were exhausted and overwhelmed, but when we went through all of the samples it was still our favourite. The color is a little tricky, since we want something light, and it needs to work with the couches-to-be and the fireplace. I like all of the samples together, so it’s hard to break out my favourite based on 1”x2” bits. We’ll see?

We’re still debating the washer/dryer issue. We’re pretty sold on the front loader style, but most of those are a bit deeper that the space available in the laundry room. :-( Our leading option (the Whirlpool Duet HT 9400 and matching dryer) is a good 2” too deep to fit. Very disappointing. I think we may end up with LG’s WM2455 washer and the dryer set, since it fits our max depth of 29¾” plus 4 inches of clearance in the back. Any opinions?

Finally (it was a busy day), we found a bed frame!! We’ve been looking for ages since it’s our wedding gift from Kevin’s parents, and the options kept just not being quite right. We both like sleigh styles (though not those where the footboard is too tall, and not the ones that are huge compared to the mattress), and I have an abiding fondness for the slats in mission designs. This bed combines both – I think it’s beautiful. There are surprisingly few pictures online, and most of them are dreadful. We’ll probably just have to post photos once it’s delivered.

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October 20, 2007

This was a 75% successful day.

Kevin got up early for football ( his first time playing quarterback for his IM league!) and I got up to start making phone calls. We finally ordered our fridge, which is so exciting, but I completely forgot that Kevin had changed our credit card address already, and so we’re lost in the seventh circle of Sears customer service hell. Totally user error (and after I’ve finally gotten competent at introducing myself with my new, married last name!), but now our fridge won’t be here for (an indeterminate number of) days and days.

On the flip side, the mattress people came with our daybed mattresses, and the DirecTV people came to say that our trees really are *enormous* and that there is exactly one spot on the property that they can erect the dish. Sigh. At least it ought to work and Kevin can get his football.

For a first car trip, I did my bike, the Christmas ornaments, and a lot of clothes, shoes and luggage. Next, I brought over a load of almost everything non-garment that was in my closet. Not to brag, but I am apparently *very* adept at not only filling closet space, but sneaking in bits above, below, and around the traditional space. After plenty of weeding out and lots of packing, I’m down to about two boxes left. Rock on. :-)

Kevin did an awesome job of removing some of our extra garage shelving. Here’s the first shot of the Mustang in the garage before he started ripping down cabinets.

I’m quite pleased. They were old and barely attached, so it’s better to have blank walls. :-) 3 down, and now the rest I can live with. Yay!!

Amanda came over for our first new house visit!! We sat on the floor, ate cookies and watched her (almost 13 mo) daughter lay waste to the packing supplies and push the stereo speakers around. Our living room windows are now delightfully hand-printy – it was so fun to have company, even if we aren’t quite furniture-equipped.

(I love the look on her face – that’s exactly how I feel about the new house, too. :-))

I also finally finished screwing the back on our new buffet cabinet!! It’s gorgeous. It’s self-assembly, but Crate and Barrel has totally mastered the details -- check out the hardware packaging! ((Held together with ribbon! Ooh!)

I’m so excited to put all of our new wedding gifts in it – so pretty!

I’ll have to get a daylight photo once these clouds diminish a bit…


An unintentional day off

October 18, 2007

A pretty quick day – Kevin was planning to go to Home Depot to buy drywall and rent a truck to bring it home (did you know that Home Depot rents pickups for $20??) when the weather reports all came in that we were supposed to have an evening windstorm.

Of course, after the mess of a storm last year, everyone panicked and fled to home, but even we weren’t about to try to drive home several sails of drywall in major wind and rain. (No damage done from this windstorm – a few flickering lights, a few branches on the ground, but nothing scary or overly destructive, luckily.)

The advantage to not being able to work on the family room was that we got to watch the Red Sox win 7-1 in game 5! Rock on!!

(This photo is also notable since it shows our practically empty closet! Oooh! Contrast it with the disaster of a box-strewn living room…)


Vacation house day

October 17, 2007

I actually spent the first hour or two of my vacation day writing for work (not my norm, but things are busy there and it put me in a much better mentality for taking the day off).

I brought over two carloads of stuff – the first was the bulk of the downstairs closet (all of our sports/camping gear, plus college notes and coursework) and almost all of my paper files, and the second was all of the wood that we’ve had stashed under beds, couches, and the corners of closets for the last three years. (I had a brief wood working spell when we first moved out here until it became clear that there was nowhere really to handle such projects. I’m so excited about the new garage!!)

Then, I spent a little bit longer adding to the trash pile in the garage and driveway – there were plenty of trash bags of rotten pine needles in the back yard, some rotten pallets, some half-used moldering bags of topsoil, wet carpet, leftover fencing, rusted metal plant stands, broken playskool climbers, etc. I dragged them out to the front Luckily, our seller’s realtor agreed to haul all of this (and yesterday’s garage collection) away for us, and so I wanted to make it accessible for whoever came to retrieve it.

I also found some treasures – some long-handled clippers in good shape, a wire rake, a nice 6’ step ladder. I brought those all over to the garage, but first used the clippers to make paths in each of the side-yards so that we can walk without stooping. Much better. Though clearly, there’s still a LOT of progress to make. (If anyone has advice about when to clip rhododendrons and hydrangea in Seattle so that they still bloom the next year, I’m all ears!!)

With no other good ways to procrastinate, I reattacked the cupboards. They’re finally clean, and I took apart the face of the oven to reattach the handles that we found on the counter. Next up is shelf paper for the bottom shelves.

Meanwhile, Kevin finished the last of the demolition.

While he worked on that, I went around with a plastic cup to remove all of the nails, hooks, screws and anchors left in the walls. I finished with almost a full cup – clearly I will be a master spackler by the end of the weekend. It looks like we may be painting a bit more than we originally intended to. The master bedroom is white, which would be fine except that the walls are pretty scratched/holey. We’re thinking yellow? (Kevin pointed out that regardless, it will probably match some portion of the quilt. :-)) The bedroom that will be my office is green, but has Winnie the Pooh art all over the place, and the painting was sort of uneven. I have yet to decide on a good color. White is boring, but I love it. Green and pink are both under consideration, but they’d have to be pretty pale since the room faces northeast and isn’t too bright.

Kevin’s bedroom/office will be painted, I’m sure, and we’ll probably do another coat of white in the fish room. The living room/dining room is a gorgeous citrus green, but we want to put a red couch in there, so we’ll see how that goes. And as I said yesterday, the family room will definitely be painted. So we’ll be busy.

The new as-of-today project is the laundry room.

There is old, old linoleum on the floor, scratched walls, and a huge, heavy cabinet without shelves. (That photo is hard for perspective, but that cabinet is more than two feet deep and no shelves.) Since we’ll be ordering a new washer and dryer, we both thought that this might be the time to do things from scratch. New vinyl floors, new paint, and perhaps two white 30” cabinets? The room is pretty minimal – 56” square, with two appliances and two doors, so we definitely want to make the best use of space possible.

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A long house post

October 16, 2007

Finally, some major progress!!

I got back to the house at almost exactly 5 pm (love that commute!!!) and cleaned the garage until it got too dark to see well. It was a little bit of an archaeological dig – the “finds” ranged from carpet and tile that didn’t match anything in the house, to spent florescent bulbs behind the furnace, to 70+ half-empty cans of paint, to plenty of chemicals and some not-diminutive furniture. The most confusing items to pull down were two projection screens that I found 10 feet up on top of a cabinet. The most potentially horrifying were three bags of cotton batting – all I could think as I got ready to pull them down was that if I was a mouse, that’s EXACTLY where I would want to live. Luckily, they were rodent free.

I stacked all of the “remnants” in the middle of the garage, and then swept out everything that I could reach (and see – by that point, especially with the clouds, it was pretty dark – this picture is from the next morning).

And here’s the pile from the back of the garage:

At that point, I decided to start in on cleaning the kitchen cabinets. They’re going to be a little bit of a trial, I think, and we’re hoping to renovate within the next year or so. It’s just old, sticky, heavy wood, and most of the rollers don’t work, and most of the hinges are a little bit off. The shelves aren’t adjustable, so I’m worried about what will even fit, and between the antique(:-)) microwave/oven and the trash compactor that we had removed (leaving just an empty hole), the cabinets likely just won’t become fine once we get used to them.

That said, I love our corian counters, and that big sink, and the wall tile, and I suspect I’ll like the stove a lot. And the bow-out window is awesome. So it certainly isn’t all doom.

Before I could clean the cabinets, I needed to remove all of the baby-proofing – took longer than I was expecting! I only made it through two cabinets and two drawers by the time we decided to break for dinner.

Meanwhile, Kevin came home, we turned on the stereo, and he started to go to town on the “wood paneling” in the family room.

It turns out that the wood was more of a sticker/wallpaper than it looked. The wall has a weird bump-out shape, and so we were hoping to correct that, plus removing the “wood” also took along a fair amount of drywall. Kevin had a blast with his brand new crowbar and the sawzall from his family. He definitely made fast work of the demolition.

It turns out that the wall is bumped out because they poured the foundation unevenly. Oops. We found about a good number of bottle caps and three ping pong balls sealed into the former wall – perhaps the construction was some sort of fraternity reunion bonding exercise?

We’ve decided to keep the bump out – I actually don’t mind at all, since it will be a good place for potted plants, and the part that grated for me was the faux wood. Kevin’s going to add some insulation, since they did a spotty job and missed entire sections. Then, he’ll put in new drywall and we can start painting. I can’t wait to replace the blue! :-) It’s sort of a big, undefined room, so we’re thinking of putting in an off-white chair rail to continue the line from the bump-out, and doing a medium café-au-lait below the line to ground things a bit and a lighter shade above. It will need to coordinate with both that fireplace brick and the “cedar” (green-grey) couches. I’m hoping that those colors and a light neutral rug will really work well? We’ll see. Choosing paint is so hard.

(An aside – like the fire screen? I’m such a big fan. This, along with the buffet cabinet and the sofa/chair/ottoman were what we purchase furniture-wise from our wedding gift money. I can’t wait until the rest of the room matches – so pretty!)


Week Six

This was a pretty stellar week. Everyone in my work league's been watching my LT performance with amusement, and predicting each week that he's "about to go off!" and it keeps amounting to naught except that this week he actually did! And my kicker was not far behind. And Dante Stallworth really performed. At 119-57, I ended up with the highest score in my league – second place had 116 points, and third rolled in at 113, and then everyone else ranged from 22 to 93. So now I have a tying record. Neat! (It’s a little bit of a pity that all the points came this week if you believe in the law of averages, but I’m still pretty psyched even despite all of the injuries on my bench. :-))

QB Jason Campbell, Was 13
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD 47
RB Marion Barber, Dal 5
WR Donte' Stallworth, NE 22
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 10
TE Alex Smith, TB 1
D/ST Patriots 3
K Matt Stover, Bal18
QB Drew Brees, NO 17
QB Damon Huard, KC 13
RB Michael Pittman, TB 0
RB Tony Hunt, Phi 0
WR Deion Branch, Sea 0
WR Reggie Brown, Phi 8
WR Marty Booker, Mia 3
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE13

And here’s a photo Kevin took of a spider web on the back deck. Love the photo, hate the enormous monster spiders. It’s started to get really cold at night (40s) the last few days, so maybe their days are numbered…?


*Really* homeowners!

October 15, 2007

We ended up getting the word at around five that the sellers were out and the house was ours!! Pretty cool!

I drove home to get a carload of cleaning supplies, the vacuum, the stereo, some folding chairs, and some tools. I got back to the house to meet Kevin a bit after 6, and we just wandered room to room for almost an hour. A bit overwhelming! I’d forgotten how echoing and dark an empty house can be.

We went to buy light bulbs, and then promptly ran out of steam and retreated to the apartment for dinner. I’m planning to get out of work early tomorrow and take a vacation day on Wednesday, so there will be plenty of time in the next few days to start cleaning.

The house was in pretty good shape – surfaces were surprisingly clean, and it didn’t look like there was much moving-out damage other than about a million hooks and anchors in the walls. The garage still had a LOT of stuff in it – no good – and the carpets are more stained than I remembered (but in line with what Kevin thought) – but on the whole, really not bad.



October 12, 2007

We signed the documents yesterday, and received word at about 2 in the afternoon that the house was now ours.

Despite the closing and the fact we have a key, the sellers requested a three-day period before we took possession. This is making our parents nervous, and now that I'm here I can completely see why, but it's written in the purchase and sale agreement and so there's nothing to do now but wait.

(In addition to not being able to sign off on the house between closing and possession, the pity of the thing is that we lose one of our weekends for moving, and so cleaning and the initial car trips will have to take place in the evenings after work. Bummer, especially now that it's dark so early.)

But, all that aside, we've closed! And now a month and a half of waiting is reduced to one last weekend… :-)


Moving the tank...

October 10, 2007

I haven’t posted a tank photo in ages. Here are the dudes, happy and oblivious to all of the coming changes.

The fish tank will be the last thing that we move. There are a lot of pieces. We have a 55 gallon display tank, a 40 gallon refugium, a +/-5 gallon sump, a 10-gallon quarantine tank, a stand, a cabinet (that the sump sits on), plus lights, plumbing, about 80lbs of rocks, about 80 lbs of sand, nearly 100 gallons of water, plus corals, fish, invertebrates, and zillions of worms, critters, and creatures that we didn’t put in the tank but that we want to preserve.

The rough plan is to set up the quarantine tank (with its lights, CPR Backpack II skimmer, pumps and heater) on the counter of the new house a few days ahead of time, with water from the main tank. Then we can bring the clowns, shrimp, snails, hermit crabs, and smaller corals and keep them there until the main tank normalizes.
One of my coworkers has offered to lend me four of his (sterilized/sterilizable) 6.5 gallon jugs for beer brewing to transport all of the water. So, then, the plan will be to:

1. Transport water from the tank to the quarantine tank two days ahead of time. Also transport all of the ready-water buckets and their water.
2. Transport fish, crabs, snails, and small corals in bags to the quarantine tank.
3. Scoop out sand to container.
4. Siphon as much tank water to jugs as possible.
5. Move coral-encrusted rocks to containers, with water and, if possible, heaters and current?
6. Transport 55 gallon tank and stand to new house, along with water, sand, rocks, equipment. Also transport 40 gallon tank, sump, and cabinet.
7. Reassemble stand, tanks, rocks. Add water. Heat and circulate. Add lights.
8. Connect full plumbing loop between 55 gallon display tank, sump, and refugium.
9. Continue to bring water from the old apartment for water changes (to reduce stress on the creatures) for the quarantine tank and the main setup for the next three days.
10. Once the tank seems in the clear and the water is testing normal, reintroduce the fish, etc from the quarantine tank.

I have a nice chart in progress for the four car trips that I think this will take.

I’m daunted.

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Week 5

October 09, 2007

I'm a good month behind on the fantasy football season, but I've finally gone back and added in the recaps for weeks 1-4. To sum, the first two games were disappointing losses, the third was a tie that I lost due to Drew Brees, and last week, I had my first win. This week was another (yay!), 77-52.

This week, I decided to pick up a new tight end, who has earned himself a spot, especially given how well he did against the Colts. Nice! Jason Campbell had his first start, and he proved himself -- for the first time ever, my QB is the week's high scorer. (Drew Brees was relegated to pondering his recent debacles from the bench.) Deion Branch got hurt in the 2nd quarter -- that could be a hit next week, since he's been so consistent recently. At least Daunte Stallworth finally had a good week. Regardless, I'm worried about my wide receivers. The Patriots D was great, and it says a lot about my kicker that 10 points doesn't seem particularly praiseworthy. Another iffy game for Marion Barber, though he barely touched the ball until the second half of the 4th quarter, and then he was awesome. It was also a fun game to watch, especially for the final minutes.

The injuries are definitely starting to pile up. Damon Huard had a shoulder thing, Deion Branch's foot is out for two weeks, my promising bench-riding RB Michael Pittman is out for 6-8, and despite his 13 points, Daunte Stallworth is still marked as having knee problems. Hang in there, guys!

QB Jason Campbell, Was 19
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD 13
RB Marion Barber, Dal 6
WR Deion Branch, Sea 1
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 1
TE Alex Smith, TB 12
D/ST Patriots 15
K Matt Stover, Bal10
QB Drew Brees, NO 6
QB Damon Huard, KC 3
RB Michael Pittman, TB 1
RB Tony Hunt, Phi (BYE) 0
WR Donte' Stallworth, NE 13
WR Reggie Brown, Phi (BYE) 0
WR Marty Booker, Mia 4
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE10



October 07, 2007

We had the most dramatic sunset tonight, all dark and purple with gold.

It was drizzling (it has been all day, with a brief interlude of pounding rain – we were both so happy to get to listen to it), but to the north and south were cloud breaks that let in such a bright, gold light.

The street was so shiny that I couldn’t get the camera to focus, but I loved all of the colors in this photo so much that I had to post it in spite of my better judgment.


Impending move...

October 06, 2007

Knock on wood, we close on Friday (so close!), and I’ve been making lists like a madwoman for the last week. We get the keys on the 12th, and our lease doesn’t end until the 31st, so we have three weekends plus the intervening weekdays to make the move.

We’ve rented a van for the final Saturday in October to move over all of the big furniture (and we have some awesome friends who actually volunteered to help – bless them. I’m so excited not to have to wrangle the couches and mattresses.). We’ll do the fishtank the next day, by ourselves. (The details on that deserve their own post).

In the meantime, we’ll clean, paint (the family room, and one bedroom), and start moving over all of the bits and sundry. The new house is actually right on both of our drives to work, so it won’t be too hard to bring a few box-fulls over each day until everything’s in place. (Even better, it means we can just keep reusing the boxes and packing supplies! AND, there’s real incentive to fully unpack each day, so that when we finally start sleeping in our new home at the end of the month, everything will be unpacked into its spot instead of sitting in a wall of boxes.)
I’ve been sort of grieving for our apartment for the last few weeks, in my typical poorly-transitioning way. (We’ve lived here for more than three years – the longest-lived home since high school. Kevin proposed here. I’ll miss the daily view of the Olympic Mountains and the lake. It held the first several phases of the fishtank. Larry came over for movies and sports, or just to hang out. The way that you can see what the weather will be in three hours by looking at the sky to the east. The first seven months that we lived here, when I was willfully unemployed and spent most of my days reading and knitting. Our running routes. Our fireworks spot. I keep thinking of things that I’m sad to leave.)

That’s not to say that I’m not excited about the new house. I’m totally won over – we both have been since we first saw it. We can’t wait for the projects, we can’t wait for family and friends to visit. And, last week, it occurred to me that the move could be such a last hurrah for our apartment. All of the reasons we’ve grown past it (kayaks and bikes in the living room, skis and camping gear and power tools and luggage crowding the closets, wonderful wedding gifts that have nowhere to live, wood from furnishing projects that we didn’t have the space to finish) can move to the new house. (Yay for garages!) And so as we settle our new place, our old place will just get better. It’s a relief to finally have a positive way of viewing the move.

In the meantime, I’ve been going through cupboards and cabinets and closets to find the things that we no longer need. I don’t want to move anything that we don’t have to!! For example, the almost-empty shampoos and expired sunscreens from Boston and before would have taken up a full box.


Mystery knitting

October 05, 2007

Another mystery project, details to follow, but on the plus side, I’m FLYING through it.

There’s so much going on (cleaning, organizing my mind for the move, starting to sign up contractors, work, etc), and this is totally putting a crimp in the progress on the quilt, but in a good way. I love the color, and I love the yarn (Cotton Classic – not the first time I’ve worked with this one, but always enjoyable.)


October 03, 2007

As I had feared, I totally ran out of material for the mountains.
When I first bought fabric, I chose an eighth or a quarter of a yard for just about everything. For things like the sky or the yellow, where I had at least 10 fabrics, this produced copious extra strips. However, where the mountains take up about a fifth of the quilt and I only had five fabrics, it wasn’t even close. Even worse, about two thirds of the mountains should have been the base batik, but I only bought an eighth of a yard of it. By the time I realized my mistake, the print was long gone.

So, I spent an evening carefully charting out strips to maximize each color, and then I had to go shopping for more. My first find was the one in the middle – bluer than the mountains, but under the florescent lights in the store, it looked feasible. On the way to the checkout from the cutting counter, I came across the print on the left. The stripes really weren’t ideal, but it had more brown tones, which worked better with both the existing batik, and the green/teal foothills.

When I left the store and saw the prints in daylight, both seemed like imperfect matches, so I went to a (more expensive) store that tends to have great batiks. There, I found the fabric on the right. It has the full range of dark purples, but is mostly a pink/brown/mauve, which actually works very well in the dark-to-light progression of the mountains, and the foothills really pop against it.

Such a relief!


Week 4

October 02, 2007

Finally!! A win! Brees (who has entirely fallen from grace) and my backup Jason Campbell both had bye weeks, so I picked up Damon Huard off of waivers -- not a bad pick!! In other news, LT actually broke 20! Muhsin Muhammed is finally back from his injury and chipped in. Barber had an off week, but since poor Ross's team only scraped together 18 points (lots of midgame injuries and the Broncos defense contributed -7!), it was a good week for that to fall.

Leonard Pope isn't doing much. I've definitely been having tight end problems (a problem shared by the whole league).

QB Damon Huard, KC 15
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD 22
RB Marion Barber, Dal 7
WR Deion Branch, Sea 14
WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chi 10
TE Leonard Pope, Ari 0
D/ST Patriots 9
K Matt Stover, Bal7
QB Drew Brees, NO (BYE) 0
QB Jason Campbell, Was (BYE) 0
RB Michael Pittman, TB 9
RB Tony Hunt, Phi0
WR Donte' Stallworth, NE 4
WR Reggie Brown, Phi 1
WR Marty Booker, Mia 0
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE10

And even if it's going to clash with the mauve in the football scoring table, here's a photo Kevin took of the trees on the Microsoft campus, which always seem to turn a few weeks earlier than the trees in the rest of the area. His flag football league has started up again, and so this is from last Saturday's game.



October 01, 2007

Finally, a stage of the quilt that just zooms by! Visible at the far shore of Lake Washington are the hills of Seattle (from left/south to right/north: Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, the University district). For this section, I used the same dark greens from the pine trees, plus several new teals. The result is quite vibrant from close range, but uniform from a few feet away, which was the goal. The opposite shore should be relatively monochrome, due to the distance.

The most challenging portion of this section was that none of the “squares” are actually square. Easier shapes were just short, squat rectangles, while others had “hills” growing out of the top. I mapped out the shapes on graph paper and colored in each strip as I sewed, but it was still a bit trying to keep track of each of the different shapes as I worked. Slow!

Here are all eight squares laid out along the top of the stairs.