Monday, December 29, 2008


Well, it's about 10:15 pm and I'm watching Bones. Everyone else has gone to bed, so I have the place to myself right now. Eeeexcellent.....

A progress update. That's what you have been asking for dear readers! Guess I'm obligated to provide one then. I feel it's only fair to warn you though that I'm kinda tired so the chances of me stringing a coherent story together is kinda slim. *insert maniacal laughter here*

The last week has gone fast. I was beginning to think that we wouldn't get into the house. The previous tenants seemed to be stalling and making life difficult. They were supposed to be out on 19 December or thereabouts. And the realtor phoned. They wouldn't be handing the keys in until Monday 22 December. And we were to take the lease from 24 December. That's cutting it close!

We took a drive past the house late afternoon of the day they were supposed to hand in the keys. Someone was still here! And it was after business hours. They obviously weren't going to hand in the keys that day.

Which meant that the realtor didn't get the keys until the next day 23 December. And they didn't have time to have the place cleaned.

So, you guessed right - we moved into a dirty house. The tenants didn't clean it properly before they left. To the point that someone had spilled rice bubbles or similar in the kitchen and didn't even bother to wipe it up. There are smudges on the walls and the floors weren't vacuumed. I think they had a go at cleaning the carpets themselves. Whatever they used, it positively reeks. Not so bad in my room, but terrible in the other rooms. I managed to get the boys room and the rumpus room deodorised. But not the spare room. And it smells like pee. Maybe it's because the carpets were too damp, but it sure smells like pee. And I haven't found a way yet to get rid of the smell.

I like the house though. There is plenty of room.

Moving and cleaning the old house has been a nightmare. So much so that I literally did have a nightmare about it last night. It seems that I was packing up to move house and as I moved on from one thing to another, whatever I packed would unpack itself while my back was turned. Replaying my fears much?

The Teen managed to rope Wogboy into helping. MOTH was very grateful for that! We had the truck for the day, and he and Wogboy moved as much as they could. It ended up being just one load short! For the truck that is. I have lost count of the number of trips the car has done.

Mind, because it happened a bit quicker than we were expecting, we didn't have much properly packed. The whole move was a bit of a nightmare, with a marked lack of enthusiasm for packing from everyone, and with me working and not able to give the job the attention it deserved.

The old place of course had to be cleaned from top to bottom. Usually I have a whole bunch of people to help and it just flies so quickly. This time, there was only MOTH and I to do the whole lot. The only time I did ask for help, I was made to feel like the worst in the world for even daring to ask. I'm not sure if that was intentional, but it certainly didn't help my stress level or my temper. Still, the old next door neighbour chipped in to help and now there is only the floor to mop tomorrow and the curtains to hang! Yay.

And then of course, I get to repeat the whole process for the new house. There is everything to clean, and a triple garage full of stuff to unpack.

Sometimes I think I will be doing this forever ... remind me never to move again, won't you.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here comes Santa Claus, there goes my sanity

So the move is creeping ever closer, and I'm wondering if I can get it all done. I'm living in a jungle of boxes, some assembled, full and sealed, some partially full and several others as yet unassembled. And I can barely see what I've removed from the cupboards. I'm wondering if I will get it all done in time. There will only be tonight and tomorrow night really. Else I will be packing boxes on the day we are supposed to be moving!

The last week has been one of mostly procrastination. I'm looking forward to the move. Not looking forward to the packing and the cleaning. I know we will get it done. But I'm having trouble with the motivation. And the realisation that this will be the first move ever that I haven't had Mum to help me with. It's a HUGE task.

Hopefully, the Teen has managed to finagle Wogboy into lending a hand with some of the heavy stuff. She also tells me that Fatboy has offered to help too. I really don't know what use he will be. He's only about 13 or 14, and wouldn't be much with the lifting. And that only leave unpacking or cleaning. Neither of which I would be happy about anyone else doing.

Last Friday was the work Christmas Party. A little later in the year than most I suppose. We decided to have it at the German Club. On arrival though, we found out that someone was required to join up, or if you lived outside a particular area you could sign in as a visitor. There didn't seem to be anyone rushing to do the honours, and since it was only a fiver to join, I decided to make the sacrifice. For twelve months. And I'll probably never get back there again. The position of the club isn't so great. I was a bit grumpy when we arrived; everyone was carrying on like I had been there before and asking where's this, how do I order, where's that? *growls* And at one point, I had to go out and sign in for Grav. She was late and missed the through put. Then 'strongly expressed her opinion' to the doorman about having to join in the first place. I left her to it, and waited inside for her to finally join me so I could point out where we were.

The atmosphere is great though, and the food wholesome and filling. Mostly German fare, but you can get a steak too. And the bar stocks mostly German beer. I had a glass and a half. *Hello, my name is Cadbury*

We spent the afternoon there, and I decided to catch a bus from there back to the city and then train from there. One of the last remaning GT's needed to get to the city as well, so we decided to bus it together. And since he was three parts sozzled, it was an entertaining trip. *wonders* Or was that me???

Saturday, MOTH ran about tidying stuff. The NHW break up party was at our place. Since we joined, it's been at our place each year. I think because we are pretty centrally located and our garage is big enough to fit everyone in. And MOTH is generous. Read Push-over. This is his last year as Santa too. But not if they have their way - they asked him to do it again next year, even though we will be in a different zone. And not even in NHW, it seems.

Sunny has been home with a headcold the last few days. Judah has been working his butt off to get some funds going so he can go to his family for Christmas. So we'll be down one for the move. I can't determine if this will be a good thing or a bad thing. Lucky Judah comes home after it's all finished. Not silly, that one.

Things have been a little tense between them the last few days. I shake my head and finally realise why Mum was always upset when things were a little rough for us. And how helpless you feel about it, because you know there are many suggestions you could give, yet you know they have to work it out for themselves. Bits of wisdom like never letting the sun set on an arguement. I took that one to heart, and now it doesn't matter who was in the 'wrong', if it's not mended in a couple of hours then I'm being stupid to let it drag beyond that. And I go apologise.

But enough of that! I'm looking forward to Christmas. One of the first things going into the new house will be the tree. And I think I'll let the kids assemble it, so it looks pretty in the house. The pressies are wrapped and ready to put under it. Well, nearly. I haven't wrapped MOTH's yet. He went for a shower while I was starting another one, and said You can wrap mine while I'm in the shower. But the bugger was back just as I was starting to wrap his. Blimmin heck! You just can't trust anything these days, can you?!

What is everyone else doing on the Day? I was thinking of maybe having a chat session, but I'm seriously doubting that our ISP will have extracted digit and moved everything over. I put in a request over the net and haven't heard from them yet. I might have to get MOTH to phone them.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

There's no place like hooooommmmmeee!!

*clicks heels*

What a week. I've started packing for the move. But the realtor is supposed to do an inspection tomorrow, and they are bringing someone through tomorrow afternoon. So, I haven't done a lot of packing because I don't want the place full of boxes for the 'tour'.

And then I thought I would start after we came back from the weekend. We had been summonsed north to celebrate some birthdays. MOTH's mother turned 90. And my father turned 70.

We travelled up Friday night. I had Friday off work, and had toyed with the idea of arriving north on Friday afternoon. But then again, I wasn't sure I really wanted to spend the money. So we left midnight. Gosh I was tired though! I did manage to do a bit of driving. MOTH played with the audible lines. Have you ever done that? They make a noise when you drive over them. They are supposed to let a weary driver know they are wandering. But we like to drive over them just for laughs. But maybe not in future! Something made a noise and started going flubbity flubbity flub. Flapity, flapity.

We pulled into the Matilda, and I decided to hit the stop for foodage. MOTH investigated the noise and decided to check the tyre pressure. Guess what, he says. Something has come loose, and I'm going to have to remove the tyre and pull the broken piece away. Brilliant. I left him to it. Cause I'm generous like that.

As an aside though, I always thought that laundromat was spelled laundromat. It seems I was wrong. This stop spells it laundrAmat. But without the capital. So, there you go.

The rest of the journey went without indcident. MOTH managed to remove the flapping piece of car without having to remove the tyre and all proceeded well.

We arrived early ish in the morning. Too early to check in. Which was midday. So we thought we would take the opportunity to check things out in the district to see if anything had changed.

It hasn't. Except maybe the dam level was a little higher than when we left. The centre at Canoe Point hasn't changed at all. At least, visibly from the carpark. We did spot some wildlife at the meals on wheels building.

Tannum beach is still beachy even. There are way more houses in the background, but the beach itself? Still the same.

We eventually checked in to the caravan park. I was familiar with this park, having visited many times when a sibling lived there. I didn't remember the cabins down the back though. I chose that park because it wasn't too close to any other family members. Shhhhhhh.....

The cabin had two bedrooms. It's own bathroom. A self contained kitchen. And some cable channels. w00t for keeping the Teen and the Elder occupied. Oh, and a bbq mounted on the railing outside. I loved it, and if I'm ever up that way again, I shall be going back. The only shortcoming I suppose was a lip on the shower. MOTH discovered that it was a very good idea to lift your feet when you get out of it. Or you are gonna end up with bruised toes.

We rocked up to the Nan thing just after lunch. And OMFG it was hot! So hot! The setting was under some tarps out on the driveway. A bitumen driveway. They had fans out, but it didn't help. We melted. I think everyone melted. In fact, I'm sure my sister-in-law was melting, cause she was sweating so hard, she was wet. And her makeup must have been waterproof. It was good though to see family members who turned up; people I hadn't seen for many years. Doesn't mean I talked to any of them though!

I wandered around the food area for a little while, and there I found out there was a bit of a lip between one cement slab and the other. Just as well I was wearing thongs! I ALMOST went face down. But having experience at falling over, I saved myself from a most embarassing incident.

I managed to convince MOTH that we had stayed long enough and we all needed to get back to the aircon in the cabin. There was a small amount of time to cool down before we ran off to my dad's function.

Cough Lolly had arranged to have it at one of the local pubs. But the Function Room, and I use that term loosely, wasn't airconditioned. It was soooo hot! Again. The cost of the meals was expensive, but I really, really enjoyed mine. The steak was so tender and melt in the mouth. The Teen ordered chicken nuggets from the kids menu. They were cold.

There were plenty of my rellies about for this do as well. And a lot of them I hadn't seen for a long time either.

It was moderately cooler outside, in the dark. I wandered out and found it was the smokers hangout. I nearly always manage to find those. MOTH used to say I was too scabby to buy my own and had to breathe everyone elses. There was only one smoker. And we chatted. While out there, MOTH came to join us. And for some reason, to prove a point, he did his rolly polly act. Or should I say, he bounced me off his belly. And bounce I did. It's like bouncing off a solid rubber wall. I went flying. The Elder was standing behind me, and I had the joy of tripping over her as well. And I landed flat on my butt! Plenty of padding, but I think it's still sore. *rubs butt cheeks*

I tried to talk MOTH into leaving. But by the time you get to say goodbye to everyone, an hour has gone by. There was thunder and lightening rolling around the sky when everyone finally decided to leave. And we didn't even make it out to the car when it all came down. And as we hit the highway back to the park, it got heavier. We drove into the rain, and it looked like the windows vortex screensaver. And visibility was down to a few meters. By the time we reached the park, MOTH wasn't sure where the road ended and the rain began.

We parked outside the cabin and debated the merits of making a dash for it. MOTH was gamest and went first to unlock. He handed the car keys to the Elder, making it plain she was last so she could lock up. Lucky last. The Teen announced that she 'was doing this' and out she dived. I followed not long after. While mopping myself up, MOTH asked if I had been told what happened. No, I haven't. The Teen apparently dived up the stairs and around the corner. And straight into the closed glass door. Wish I'd had a camera. That could have won me some moneys, oh yes. *nods*

Sunday we wasted time at the shops. It's Christmas time, and that backwoods has Sunday shopping. Whoo hoo! What a metropolis!

Monday we took a quick tour of the laundry. I had to wash, and lo! As usual I was unprepared and didn't have change for the machines. I sent MOTH to find some. Because, again, I'm generous.

I got a wash load done, and dried. Chased the kids up. Got the car packed. Emptied the rubbish bins. Returned the keys. Filled the car. Stocked up on drinks. And we were off on the trek home.

And we made it. Finally. And the boyos had even kept the place clean for us. *is proud*

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Burning in water and drowning in flame!

*dances to song*

Well, I would if I wasn't sitting at my desk at work. Ok, so I'm on my lunch hour, and I have a sore backside from sitting in one place too long. But I'm still tethered. I'm wearing my headphones.

Yes, that's right. I'm wearing my headphones. They arrived on Friday. Bloody good they are too. They are bright metallic blue. With white accents. They are the old fastioned style in that they look like ear muffs. And like ear muffs, the bit that goes over your ears is white and fluffy.

*LOVES them*

The week hasn't been too bad really. It's hard to fathom that we've known about the house for a week now. Since I mentioned it in my last update. Everything is official now. We have to vacate by 30 December 2008. Our new lease commences on 24 December. That's the day we expect to get the keys. And I can't wait. As soon as we get them, I'm going to see if we can go straight over and have a look about. And do the entry inspection report before we start moving stuff in. We have decided to do it ourselves, and hire a truck. Able have the best rate so far. The biggest hassle is that I'm working; I'm not on holidays. So trying to work out how that will all fit together is going to be a bit of a doozy.

MOTH was over talking to one of the neighbours yesterday evening. I was a little worried actually. None of us had seen him leave the house; I couldn't find him anywhere, and he'd left without his phone and wallet. Not only that, he wasn't standing in anyone's front yard, networking. Alright, for you plebs, that's gossiping. And I had dinner on the table ready and waiting. He told me later that the new neighbour was a little worried that he had chased us out. I don't know why he would think that. They have a new babe, and I never like to walk far for food.

The real estate people came on the weekend, and we now have a sign in the front garden.

The house is on the web somewhere, and we have the agent bringing people through the house tomorrow. Already. So this morning I cleaned the bathroom before work. Tonight I had better make sure the floor is clean and tidy! ESPECIALLY since the agent told our new landlords how clean we were.

There are probably other things that happened during the week, but I am so looking forward to the move that I can't really seem to concentrate on anything else. Not even my work properly. I want to start packing, but I don't want stuff all about when people are going through. And since the lounge is more or less the only place I have to store the packed boxes, I think I shall have to wait for the serious packing to start when we come back from our weekend away.

I know that the Teen is really looking forward to the move as well. And since we are now a one car family, I've had plenty of opportunity to say, If we were in the new place, that wouldn't be a problem! The boyos have to catch a bus today as MOTH and I are not home. And they will have to try to work something like that out on our weekend away as they both have rostered shifts. And no one to take them anywhere. One can catch a bus to the station, the other can't. The bus doesn't go the direction he needs to be.

I'm also looking forward to the trip up north. Because I want to check out the digs, not because I will be seeing my family. Not at all.

And I promise that when I get myself into gear, I'll include the photo of the sign. And maybe, just maybe, for those who have it, I'll do a video call from the new house... if you promise to be good.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm back and I'm writing a novel!

This summer lark is all very well, but I do find it difficult to deal with sometimes. If my ramblings are more rambly than usual, then I'm muzzy headed and not quite with it. Quiet you lot!

Right now, I'm busy discussing gifts with the Elder (IM is a wonderful thing!). And I have no idea what I would be liking. Someone give me some suggestions.

So, I digress, as usual. What has been happening during the week. Well, things have been a little strange. Remember I mentioned that the Teen wanted to change schools, and we discovered that we were out of the new boundaries? Well, the idea of changing schools is still hanging about, so we toyed with the idea of relocating.

Of course, we could stay where we were, with a $30 a week increase in rent. And try to fight it out with the school. Or send her back to her current school. Neither option has much by way of appeal.

I scoured the rental lists on the web. Just for comparison. And what you could get in a neighbouring 'burb for the same price we were going to be paying was quite a little better. Most of them looked a little cleaner. Most.

So we decided to join the caravan of not so happy campers looking for a place to live. The rental market has changed considerably since we were last involved. Nowadays, you book in for an inspection and join the cattle call with about sixty trillion other people, all looking through the house at the same time.

So, over the last couple of weeks, we've looked at four houses. The first one we looked at was in a lovely area, but so small I thought it was supposed to be a flat. It was a 3 bedder. And no lounge room to speak of. Which in my book, is never a good sign no matter how many people you are trying to cram into one space. We didn't bother with an application on that one!

The second one we looked at was lovely. The carpet was a bit stained in places, but it had a cozy feel. Lovely. The decor in the snug little lounge area was blue, with pale walls. The tiles were nice and the location was perfect. We decided to put in an application. But we still haven't heard back, so I'm guessing it was lost.

The third house was perfect. The rent was in the right range. The location was exactly where we wanted it to be. There was the right number of bedrooms, although they were a little small. The kitchen/dining was exactly right. The house was clean and tidy and would be easy to look after. Heck, even the garage was carpeted. We put the applications in right there. And in the time we were there, only one other person looked through. She took an application as well. I asked the agent how many others had applied. There had been a few.

We didn't get it. I was so disappointed. I wanted it so badly. I still wish we had gotten it; even though I know that it just meant that something better suited to us would come along. Sometimes it's hard to counsel myself to be patient for things. I don't know why we didn't get it; maybe fate's timing just wasn't right for us.

Just yesterday we had three more to look at. One at 2pm, one at 3pm and one at 3:50pm. Busy day! The first one was a lovely little four bedder. Quite cozy. I did like it, but I didn't like the vinyl floor covering! That was in the kitchen/dining area. I mean, who has VINYL flooring these days? And it had seen better days. The kitchen was mauve as well. And the rumpus room had been painted with sponging effect. The yard out the back was small though. Cute and cozy. It had potential.

The Teen was almost swooning she loved it that much. I suspect it was the pink kitchen and pink bedroom carpets that won her over.

I soooo totally loved the ensuite. The tiles were mottled black and grey with an oil slick sheen on the shower fittings. The focal point was a pattern of black tiles with purple and gold highlights. The shower fixtures had gold highlights. Decadent!

We took the paperwork.

And it was off to view house number two. This one still had people in it. I don't feel comfy traipsing about a house with people in it. And, mind, she was still at home. Eep. We parked out front and waiting for the agent. This house was managed by our current realtor.

The house looked alright from the outside. Not as cute as the previous one. Security screens. That's always a bonus. Supposedly landscaped gardens; a touch overgrown. I wondered how much work that would entail. I don't like gardening! It's got a 3 car garage; supposedly with remote/s.

We got in and tiptoed around the house. I don't like intruding. But heck, this lot haven't looked after it very well. I know they are packing, and there is stuff everywhere, but they have certainly given it the once over. Hmmmm. But the house has potential. It is HUGE. There are 4 double sized bedrooms and a study. I decided that if we got it, there were enough rooms to let Judah have the study all to himself. The only problem is where are the phone lines? I forgot to look.

MOTH decided that this place had potential and we would put in an application. I thought it was suited to what we want; only about 15 mins walk to the school and the shops. Rent is expensive though so we will have to pay more ourselves and increase Judah and Sunny's contribution. I mentioned it to Judah last night, but he doesn't give much away. I'm hoping that he didn't have a problem with it; he'd already offered to pay more when we first mentioned about the move.

When we finished looking at that place, the agent remarked that the second house we were to look at with her had an application on it which was almost certain to be accepted; it wasn't really worth our while. Which was a shame. It was a perfect location but only a 3 bedroom. New too.

So, we took the documents home. And when I went to use the printer to copy all the necessary paperwork to include with the applications for both houses, it wouldn't work. I don't know why - it was working perfectly the other day. Mind, when I say perfectly, I use that term very loosely. If you want to print more than one page, you have to load each sheet of paper one at a time. It keeps jamming when you insert more than one, and often doesn't pick up the paper to feed through at all. So, when it failed to register the colour cartridge, I decided it was time to replace it.

I talked MOTH into making a dash out to the nearest Hardly Normal store for a look. We had been bumming around there looking at stuff on the weekend. And one of the things we had been thinking about was a printer. Wonder if the darned thing we had had been picking up on the I'm-gonna-get-rid-of-you vibes? Just as we started looking, I got a message from Sunny. They both needed a lift to work. But I've only just got here! Not my fault they were in the shower when we left, and obviously didn't hear me call through the door. So MOTH had to dash back to pick them up. And I decided to make the printer choice on my own. MOTH said it specifically had to be able to print photos. Why, I asked. We don't keep prints. What if I want to send them away to friends up north? What, you can't email them? But then, said friend is still using dial up. Pfft. Dinosaur.

I waited for him to come back. I don't have a watch, but it sure seemed to be taking a while. I chose a printer anyway. It wasn't a cheap one, but while I was waiting, someone had gone by and put a discount sticker on it. w00t! I walked up and down the aisle looking at the boxes and thinking I couldn't find one. Blimmin heck, don't tell me I picked the one that didn't have any stock left. There was one out the back though, and I asked the chap for the cartridges to go with it, since the display model had no cartridges in it. So, I was thinking of about $300 but it was on special, and from there a $50 cashback. So yes, cheap! For the type of printer it was. But by the time I got the extended warranty and the cartridges, it was $400! So much for cheap.

And when I opened the box, there were the bloody cartridges in it. Can't win some days.

But we went to hand in the applications at the respective agencies this morning. Or, at least, MOTH did. The biggest bear is that the agent who we currently lease through requires one week's rent up front. This is a holding deposit, and if you don't get the place or you decide not to take the property after it's offered to you, it's refunded. But you have to pay it up front.

So, MOTH hands in the paperwork, and straight away they say we have it. The big house. No checks, nothing. So there you go. We can have it from December 23. Talk about moving fast! When you fill out the application, you can tick to say the property looked fine or you can request that things be done before you take up tennancy. I suspect, or at least hope, that cleaning and garden will be done before we move in. I stuck up my hand and asked if it could be painted. I can ask, they can only say no. Probably needs new carpet too, but I'm not going to push my luck too far...