Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crazy days

So wow... the move is imminent. In theory on Sunday, I will have my stuff in my new house. It may be absolute chaos, but I'll have stuff in the new house.

This is the front of my new house... we're renting the back half, but that means we'll be closer to the parking, for the occasions when I drive.

Our entrance looks like this:

I think this will be somewhere where we can be pretty happy for now. It is within walking distance of the Western campus, and it is near a bus stop.

It is also near some parks, which will help me get back into running and make Calvin a very happy dog. I think I've set my sights on an October 5k race, so watch this space, because I may be hitting up my friends and family for donations to a charity.

Today has already been a bit busy-- I had to take the dog to the vet so he could get his doggie passport. Okay, so it isn't a passport, but it is the document that shows that he is healthy enough to be allowed into Canada. He doesn't mind the vet. He likes the car ride, he likes getting to meet the people and other dogs in the office, but once they call us into the back, he realizes that STUFF HE DOESN'T LIKE happens there. The good news is that he's healthy as a horse... or at least a Calvin. On the way home from the vet, we stopped at Starbucks to go through the drive thru, because usually they give him treats, but this time she went above and beyond-- a kiddie sized cup with whipped cream and two dog bones in it... like a little doggie sundae. He loved it. I didn't have my camera with me but I'm not sure it would have been fast enough!

Last weekend I made a crazy road trip to find the above apartment. On Wednesday, I drove from Nashville to Detroit, then on Thursday I went over to London to see places and found the right place, and on Friday, I spent some time with my dad and step-mom (I even helped my step-mom and her friend make pickles. Wow, that's a crazy process), saw some friends, visited my grandpa in the hospital, and drove to Florence, Kentucky, where I spent the night. On Saturday, I drove the rest of the way home.

Some highlights of the trip:

So this is a sign in Kentucky. Its a little hard to see... its there in the background, but its hard to take a photo while driving (the whole pesky eyes on the road thing), but it says "HELL IS REAL." It was right before an exit with an adult bookstore. I've driven past this sign about 100 times, but every time, it and its partners (there are an assortment of similar billboards in this same area of Kentucky on I-65) surprise me. Maybe its just me, but I don't look to billboards for anything much except perhaps the next exit where I can find a big ass drink and a potty. Certainly not salvation. I don't think that is found on a roadside sign.

Another religious oddity. If you look carefully you see the gigantic Jesus rising up out of or sinking into the pond there. This is outside of Cincinnati, OH, and I cannot express how huge it is. The building in the background is a church, but it is the size of a small shopping mall. So, if Jesus is taller than the church, he's huge.

This is the view from the Blue Water Bridge while waiting to pass through customs to Canada. It was pretty but time consuming.

After my adventures in Canada, I stopped before crossing the bridge back to the U.S. in the lovely park on the Canadian side. It was nice just to sit and enjoy a pretty evening for a few minutes. It was completely worth it, and I swear I saw a dude resting in the driver's seat of his van with a cage full of birds in the passenger seat. He was talking to a group of bikers who were also hanging out. Wacky. My camera was pretty close to dead batteries, so I didn't get a photo.

Anyway, I need to pack until my head explodes. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Knitters are Awesome!

I went to my regular Tuesday knitting meet-up, which I thought would be a nice, relaxing break from the hectic-ness of moving. And it was. It was social and fun, and worth the drive.

What I didn't expect were presents. My friends gave me going away presents. I almost cried.

Janet gave me these:

They are outstanding-- warm, soft, and ideal for typing (in cold libraries, for example) and for walking the dog. I'm wearing them now, even though it isn't at all cold. I'm sure my wrists appreciate them, not matter what the temperature.

Paula gave me this:
A lovely case to keep my knitting needles warm in the London, ON winters. The picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. The exterior is lovely, the interior is corduroy, with slots for my needles, and a ribbon closure.

Here's the thing about hand made gifts (not that I have anything against the store bought)-- they represent an investment of time and thought. I don't want to get too sappy or sound too crazy, but these gifts are a small amount of these ladies lives that they gave to me. So, in a way, the photos don't do either of them justice; there is no way that a mere photo could capture that. I will be able to take small bits of my friends with me, even though I'm moving far away. Who knew that these items could warm the heart, too?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Absolutely Awesome Day!

So this weekend is a sales tax holiday in Tennessee, so I decided to stock up on school supplies for the next four years. I bought a case of printer paper, a new planner, pens, highlighters, index cards, a bunch of really cool stuff. I also got to hang out with a friend of mine who has been super busy with her job lately, so, all told it was awesome! It was an eight hour adventure of school supplies, overpriced linens, and fantastic sodas.

First off, we went to Office Depot, where I stocked up on bunches of stuff. Then we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond where I bought these fantastic things. I love them, because I can wear any earrings I want to, even though one of my lobes is stretched out.

Then, we went to T. J. Maxx, where I found this:

It had not price tag. Indeed no tags of any sort. For all I know, some wise soul packed for the day and accidentally left their lunch bag in the accessories section. But I picked it up, and looked for others in the store with tags. I didn't find them. So after looking at everything in the store except for the men's clothes and the kids clothes, we went to pay for what my friend had found that she needed, and I asked a busy looking dude at the customer service desk how much it was. I said "So, how much does this cost, because I could just make up a price, but I'm not sure you'd like that." He said, "well, what price would you make up?" I said "$5.00," to which the guy responded, "how about $4.00?" and printed a price tag. I was so proud of my deal, I promptly put the sack on my head and put the price tag on my shirt. When I got home, I checked it out online, and found the same lunch bag for between $15 and $25!!!! How awesome!

Now I'm home and enjoying my spoils, and a quiet night at home with my husband and my dog, playing WoW and watching TV. I might drink some wine, too.

What a great day!