Sunday, August 17, 2008

Leaving the old, going to the new.

If you have ever left for a long vacation you know what a ton of work it is to get packed and ready.
Knowing strangers will be parading through your house while you are gone kicks the stress up to a whole new level.

Add moving to a new city with your two cats, well, that is the just absolutely mind boggling.

Consider my mind to be boggled.

Saturday August 15th we had to move all our patio plants out to where the sprinklers could hit them. The house sitter would be in and out, so it was important that they not die in the heat.
Ugh. The patio looks so bare without them!

We got them all moved, and then the biggest rainstorm of the summer began. It rained and thundered all day.
If only rainstorms were both regular and predictable, the plants could have stayed right where they were.

The Aunt Lou begonia was in full bloom still, the blossoms now are pale pink.
Isn't that odd?
They have been a deep rose pink the whole time we've had it on the patio.

I couldn't resist taking several shots of the flower clusters.

As I was shooting, my camera was fogging up in the humidity.
Sweat was running down my face and making it impossible to see what I was doing. I need to report that fact in this post lest someday during a cold Utah winter I need reminding of what we have left.
The humidity has also been dissolving the tree stump that we called Tiggie's "Stump of Consideration", because he would always wander out into the yard and then sit on the stump with his ears swiveling slowly, like he was considering what he should do.
I guess it really is time to go when your Stump of Consideration is crumbling.

It is sporting mushrooms, and decaying pieces are chunking off.

It wasn't raining outside when this was the weather report.
I don't think steam rooms even get up to 73 % humidity.
Yeesh. Yuck. Ewww.
And we were mopping and dusting and vacuuming, and trashing and packing etc etc....sweat pouring off us, our tee shirts soaked through and through. Even with the air conditioning on!
A two shower day...and one quick bath splash before I went for a quick pedicure and to ship off a box of hats to Utah.

When I returned from my errands I stopped and took a picture of the sign at the entrance of our subdivision. The sign was new a few years ago. I like the way that name sounded, which was good: Kingwood people always are asking what subdivision you live in.
We got a last minute surprise: Luggage now is also measure a new way. We had to squish our duffel's and tape the ends like sausages to meet the requirements. I came pretty close to using all allowable 70 pounds per duffel.
There's all we're taking. We took them to the airport early so we wouldn't need to check baggage with the cats in tow.

Back home the humidity continued to swelter outside. The 74 degrees inside meeting the temperature outside = fogged windows throughout the house.
Our "to do" list was done as a photo finish, The cats were drugged, the taxi arrived. and lickity split, we were GONE.
I had grabbed my back pack, purse, camera case, and cat carrier. Half way to the airport I realized I could have but TWO carry-ons.
The purse was divided up between B. and my backpacks, and the camera case managed to be crammed in as well.
Those Dell lap top backpacks are AWESOME! Whew...I didn't think I could put one more thing in, but it all fit.
The boys chilling in the Continental Airline's President's Club.
We had free drinks; they didn't serve anything that interested the cats.
(They deserved some kind of treat for going through security in our arms...)
The next big adventure: Continental had called earlier in the day to say Bernie was being upgraded to first class. B. didn't want us separated, so he declined the seat.
They had already sold his regular seat!
We tried to buy an upgrade for me.
No can do: Policy says only one cat in first class.
OK...B. told them to figure out how to get B. back in coach.
B. spent almost an hour on the phone to make that happen.
They said it was all fixed.
We walked to board with our pre printed boarding and pass and they once again announced Bernie was upgraded. At this point I didn't care if we were separated on the plane.
I got settled with Tiggie in the coach section while B. got settled with Hart in First Class.
Suddenly the policy change.
Tiggie and I were called up to First Class!
The boys very first (and hopefully LAST) plane trip, and they get to go FIRST CLASS!
They were so out of it, I don't think they even noticed. Hart meowed for awhile, Tigs was silent.
The flight left on time at 9:45 pm.
We got pretzels, and no movie.
Big whoop-de-do.
At least the seat was bigger.
Oh, and the boys got their First Airplane Trip flight wings from the flight attendents.
(I wonder what they will wind up doing with them.)
Then...I could see mountains below lighted by a full Sturgeon Moon. (I had just read what a full moon in August is called.) What a beautiful way to arrive at 11:57 pm.
I was born at that time...I guess this was the start of new life.

Jeff was there to help us with the luggage; we waited together while B. got a rental car.
Lots of people admired our kitties on the sidewalk! I am SO proud of how they did on the plane!
An answer to prayer for sure.

We got a litter box ready in the guest room, a bowl of water and a plate of food. The boys came out of their carriers and got right to investigating.
They ate, used the litter, drank some water and settled in like old hands at this traveling and visiting family stuff.
Apparently the grey chair in the guest room now belongs to Tiggie.

Hart kept checking the door...Meowsie was on the other side.

It's always wise to mark corners with your cheeks.

The next morning Meowsie was locked up and the boys got a chance to explore.
Hart had never seen stairs before and held back on going downstairs.

Tiggie marched down them like he owned the place.

He got busy snoopervising....

Then Meowsie came downstairs too.


We explained to Tiggie that that "thing" was his nephew Meowsie.
Tiggie's ears were back...he apparently didn't realize Meowsie was that big!

While the boys were sniffing around, I went outside to explore the garden. Jeff had a new fence, and a tree that formerly had blocked the mountain view on the other side of the fence was now gone. I loved seeing the mountains in the morning!

Jeff's flower garden.
Strawberries, berries, tomatoes and basil patch. With a couple of irises throuwn in for good measure.

The miniture rose bush had a web on it that had captured droplets of water.

A few larkspur were blooming.

The gladiolias stole the show though. You can see them glowing in the sunshine from the living room.
The garden looks so different from the last time that I saw it, back in December when it was covered in snow.

The dahlias are blooming as well. I can't wait to get a garden of my own here!

Back inside Tiggie and Meowsie were still sorting out who was the Alpha cat. They were very polite about it though. No hissing or growling, just some very slow walking and raised back hair.

Tiggie went upstairs and pooped in Meowsie's litter box.
I think that kind of says it all about who is the Alpha cat, doesn't it?
I don't think they will likely cuddle together, but they are cool about sharing the condo for now.

Tiggie then got back to snoopervising the bathroom.

I have never seen him hang out around a sink before!

Now Hart and Meowsie had a totally different meeting.
Meowsie was just sitting in Jeff's room, minding his own business while Tiggie checked the rest of the house out.

Hart decided to explore Jeff's room, and WALK RIGHT PAST MEOWSIE!

I mean, he walked not more than eight inches away from him, sauntered right by him, and was sniffing around. When Hart turned to walk back out of the room he about had a heart attack: There was this ENORMOUS GREY thing staring at him. How could he have missed THAT when he walked in the room?

Apparently the best face save was to just walk carefully by Meowsie and leave...quickly.

In other news: Jeff's new motor cycle: A Suzuki Boulevard. Yes, he has a helmet, and gloves, and has taken a two day safety class and passed all the tests with flying colors. It is a good looking bike, even if I don't particularly want to ride on it myself.
Jeff had gone to church early. After he got back, we took off to look for apartments to rent. B. had identified two that would 1. take two cats and 2. allow a short term lease and 3. had a unit available.
And be reasonably priced and near work too.
Only one had a rental office open on Sunday, but it looks promising. We'll try and see the second one torrow.
We are trying NOT to think about what it means to drug and transport the cats yet again.
I wanted to get a sense of where the apartment is in relationship to where I will be working and where Bernie will be working. He will be working near the airport, I will be working within three block of the center of SLC.

We stopped to look at where I will be working, and I was quite taken by how beautiful the zinnas were out in front.

I can't wait to grow zinnas next summer!

I will be working here as the librarian at the headquarters of a century old UK company that operates 14 massage colleges in eight states. It is a degreed program; like any other college it must be accredited, and that means having a library.
I will be in charge of building the libraries for each of the school.
We went inside to check it all out...and since it was Sunday, and clinic day, we were able to sign up for massages.
Since I am faculty, both mine and Bernie's will always be free!
That's right...a one hour massage for free every Saturday and Sunday.
Family member's (such as Jeff) will get massages for $10.
Friends will be $18.
So when do you think you want to come visit us?
While we waited at the school I got complimented by a nice gentleman on my hat.
I think Utah and I are going to get along just great hat wise.

We drove around the area of the school. It is in a very interesting and artistic area, quite nice, with eccletic restaurants and galleries and shops and just a block from the huge SLC public library! It might even be possible to take the Trak train to work...wouldn't that be cool?

A house nearby had an Open House sign, so we stopped and look. It had a lovely English garden with golden dragonflies darting through the flowers.

The golden wings...smaller than the brown one that was in my yard the other day.

The golden looked like a royal upgrade...reminded me of Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern books, where the dragons came in brown, green, red, blue, and the most important ones were gold.
Have you ever read her books?
They are a real fantasy treat.

Next to the dragonflies were old fashioned hollyhocks. Another flower I intend to grow next summer.

My job will require my presence 30 hours a week. I will have all the usual school holidays off, plus three weeks vacation a year.
I think I will have time for gardening.
And I think for blogging too.
It is now almost 10 pm Utah time, and in two hours I will have had my first full day in my new state.
I can't believe my first day is over; I already love it here!
(PS: THANK YOU to all of you who prayed that our flight with the cats would go smoothly. We have been rejoicing all day about how well they did, and my finger where Tiggie bit it is doing just fine too. Now all we need is for our house to sell...keep praying all of us who need to sell houses soon!)


Vicki said...

I had to click over to check our humidity when I looked at yours...the Weather Channel says it's 93% (8:15am). I run a dehumidifier in the apartment because it always felt damp to me...every 24 hours, I empty nearly 50 pints of water!

The flowers (especially Jeff's!) looked so pretty! Are you going to get to move your Aunt Lou begonia?

I'm so glad the boys did well. I'm sure Meowsie isn't exactly thrilled about having to share his digs...and his litter box.

Ladygrande (Texas Marie) said...

Your new adventure...sounds like it going great.

Sara said...

The cats seemed to do well meeting each other...very polite indeed.

You are off to a good start in your brand-new life - congratulations! And thanks for giving us a little tour and a garden show too. No more humidity, free massages on the weekends, and working so near the huge SLC main all sounds fantastic.

Oh...and positive hat vibes too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,
You are such an inspiration to me in the way that you embrace change. I am learning from you! I know that change is inevitable but I still don't do well with it.
Thanks for the look into your life. I am a hat wearer 'wannabe'! I love the look of hats. And try so many on in the stores but don't buy because I don't feel I can 'pull it off'. Perhaps a tutorial in selecting the right style and the correct fitting of a hat would be helpful for myself and others who just don't know. How do you know what size to buy?
Thank you again, and I'll be praying for the sale of your home and the purchase of a new one.
Debbie (B.C./Canada)

Anonymous said...


Elizabeth said...

The best of luck in your new home!
The cats look to have survived the trip in great style.
Settling somewhere new is always a mix of excitement and anxiety.
Your hat is super.
Yes, obviously, Massage Colleges need librarians maybe they need more than one.........FREE massags are too wonderful sounding.......!

running wildly said...

Your cats seriously kill me! Wow, what an adventure you have had. Onto bigger and better things...hey?!?!?! Can't wait to see some pics of your new home all moved in.