Friday, June 22, 2007

How to get to know your new neighbors!

Lock yourself out of your house....sigh. We have six, count 'em, six exterior doors! The deadbolts work fine but the locks on the knobs are going to be the death of me. I let the dogs out and the door swung shut behind me and the knob was still locked. DAMN!

So I went next door to see if the previous owner had left a key with the neighbors. Nope. So neighbor man got a putty knife and we went back round to see if it would work like a credit card in the movies. Nope. Wrong kind of door frame. So that was good and bad news.

When hanging curtains yesterday I noticed one of the bathroom windows is missing it's lock. So neighbor lady went back home to get her tall step stool. Neighbor man ripped the screen off the window for me. We padded the window frame with the cover off the gas grill and I climbed through while they held the ladder. I'm sure The Tramp would wish I'd been locked out with the video camera so he could have seen the show. Totally inelegant, but I didn't break my neck in the process, so all is well that ends well. :)

That was this afternoon's adventure. This morning's adventure included giving the Large Stealth Dog a flea bath. The outdoor tap looks like it needs work so I opted for my nice clean bathtub. Oh my the hair! Wads and wads of black hair. Ngaire behaved very nicely and managed to look suitably pathetic throughout the ordeal. :) Three towels weren't enough to dry her though so before I could send her outside to run herself dry she shook and shook all over the hallway and bathroom walls. Lovely.

So I sighed a lot and climbed in to the hairy scary tub to take my shower and scrub the tub and walls down again (didn't I just do this yesterday??). I let the hair dry where it stuck and then vacuumed the walls and floors. She smells nice and looks clean and shiny so I guess it was worth it. If my timing seems strange it's because of the ongoing flea battle. Battle?'s WAR! I locked both dogs in their crates in the part of the house I bug sprayed last night. I sprayed the rest of the house then went out to the stores for some retail therapy. If I'd known I'd lock myself out of the house as soon as I got home I might not have bothered.

Ah well. I guess this is my life now I'm "retired" and stay-at-home-mom for the dogs, the birds and the fish. Not so bad! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Chaos reigns but the light is starting to show at the end of the tunnel. The kitchen/family room area is free of boxes! Woooohooooooo! Of course I can hardly walk anywhere else in the house but having one room done shows it's possible.

Today Dad and I went to a really nice Ace Hardware store and I bought paint for the bedroom. Next week's project. Dad had the best time poking around the store while I chose colors and happily announced to everyone within earshot that it was the nicest hardware store he's ever had the pleasure to patronize. That's good, because I'm sure he'll find excuses to go there often. He loves to become a "regular". :)

Curtains came today from JC Penney so I have that to work on. I have window blinds to put up too. I tried to put up a few shelves in the bathroom this morning but made a hash of it so they can wait for the talented hands of The Tramp. It's a short weekend for him coming up but I've created a prioritized list and hope we can get through most of it.

We also need to get a lawn mower and most likely a new washer and dryer....sigh. I left my new state-of-the-art front loaders behind in New Jersey and I'm missing them terribly. Ah well. This washer would be fine...except it doesn't work properly. :( The agitator only half works, and the load I did last night didn't rinse. Ick.

Mom and Dad have moved into a brand new house and Dad was fussing blue murder about the size of the utility closet meant for the washer and dryer. We all thought he was nuts. The machinery is all pretty standard in size and why in the world would the builder build hundreds of houses with utility closets too small? So after his fussing and driving my mother crazy about it for a week they went to Sears and bought a really nice standard washer and dryer. And guess what? They don't fit! I couldn't believe it. You can't close the doors on the closet. Dad was right all along. :)

Besides that problem, every builder puts the washing machine connections on the right and the dryer on the left...and all the manufacturers make the sets to go around the other way. Mom made sure the builder got her opinion on that! So now we're waiting to see how the builder is going to make good. What I can't figure out is, hasn't anybody else in all these new houses ever complained??? They all have washers and dryers. Weird.

Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Day with the Navy

We've had a lovely stay with the Sailor Son and the DIL in Norfolk, VA. Yesterday we were treated to a drive around the Naval Station and a tour of the aircraft carrier - USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Amazing stuff. (recent photos)

Presently there are no aircraft on board and maintenance is taking place everywhere. The ship was buzzing with people and activity though a only a fraction of the crew were present. There are normally about 5,500 people on board. The ship is huge. So huge it's impossible to get a photo that showed the hugeness! The Eisenhower is the second in the Nimitz class of carriers. It it is largest, though not the longest. My first thought as we walked down the pier was, how in the world does something that large actually float!

Here we are on the hangar deck. The Tramp and the Sailor Son are looking at the photos of the officers. The Carrier Command is on the left and the Air Command on the right. The ship's officers are on the center board.

We walked (climbed) down a few levels and saw the diesel engines the Sailor Son cares for. He showed us living quarters and the various Mess areas. He says he doesn't much like the food (no surprise to the mom of Mr. Picky Eater) but there sure is plenty of it and apparently lots of variety. I am so amazed he can find his way around. All the passages and levels are marked with codes on the wall but it still mostly all looks the same. He had to stop and think a few times to get oriented. The officer's areas are well marked and differentiated with blue tile on the floor so they were easy to avoid.

We walked (climbed) to the top level of the super structure. The closest ship you can see is the carrier USS Enterprise. Hard to tell from the photo but the row of ships and submarines goes on and on. It's the largest Naval Station in the world!

"Naval Station Norfolk occupies about 4,300 acres of Hampton Roads real estate in a peninsula known as Sewells Point. It is the world's largest Naval Station; in fact, based on supported military population, it is the largest naval installation in the world. When the 75 ships and 134 aircraft homeported here are not at sea, they are along side one of the 13 piers or inside one of the 11 aircraft hangars for repair, refit, training and to provide the ship's or squadron's crew an opportunity to be with their families. Naval Station is homeport to aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, large amphibious ships, submarines, a variety of supply and logistics ships, C-2, C-9, C-12 and E-2 fixed wing aircraft,
and H-3,H-46, H-53, and H-60 helicopters."

He said he was kind of lucky to be assigned to a garbage pick-up detail while he was waiting to be flown out to the ship, because it allowed him to learn how to get around the place!

This is taken standing on the flight deck at the bow and looking back. You still can't get the sheer size from the photo. That white tent is on the flight deck. It's a huge long tent, we're not sure what it's for.

Sailor Son and I are standing about half-way across the flight deck. Just in front of our feet is one of the catapults. For scale...the blue rectangle under the "69" is a standard sized door. When we were up at the top we were standing just above the colored letters. He said it's 10 stories up! They are allowed up there to watch when the planes are taking off and landing but they have to wear double ear protection. I can just imagine.

So when it comes down to it, we are quite pleased to be able to say we stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier! Even knowing there are currently 10 carriers with 5-6 thousand people assigned to each, and can imagine how many family members have been toured through, we still feel pretty privileged.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Moving Day

The furniture is gone, the U-Haul truck is loaded and sitting out front. The plants are in boxes and ready to go in the car with the birds, the fish and the dogs. The parties and goodbyes are almost done. At the moment I'm too tired and stressed to be emotional about it but I'm sure it's going to hit me hard when I least expect it.

I have made a discovery. Logical, but I hadn't thought of it before. Let me be blunt. Most of the people out there driving rental trucks feel like crap. They're most likely making a big life change or in the midst of a big project, they've exhausted themselves packing and loading the damned thing. They haven't had any decent sleep and now they are on the road with a rather large and unfamiliar vehicle. YIKES! After that realization, we got the highest insurance coverage that U-Haul offers!

Gotta go now and get ready for church. The bell choir is playing and it's my swan song. :) One last sweet time with such good and wonderful friends.

Then we leave for new pastures.....