Friday, November 12, 2010

Moving, Continued

Blessings, Darlings!

This is the move that will never end.  We're still  moving.  We were supposed to be out Monday - 4 days ago. 

Part of the delay was a dead truck - the alternator had to be rebuilt in our driveway.  Part of it is that we have a home business with delicate lab equipment that takes lots of bubble wrap packing - and we are doing all this ourselves.  Three people means it takes lots of time.

We THINK the inside of the house will be empty but not cleaned by the end of today.  But we'll still have to empty the shed, pack the stuff in it, then dismantle and pack the shed. 

We're just moving things off the truck and into the garage at this end at this point.

But at dawn this morning I watched Momma Deer and her spawn come up from the woods and walk across the neighbor's lawn - made me hungry for venison just looking at them!  And the Blue Ridge Mountains are lovely any time of day.  AND we see real stars, lots of them, and Bob saw a shooting star the other night.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Moving, Day 2

Blessings, Darlings!

This is a long-ass post, because I'm having long-ass days.

Yes, I know I didn't blog about Moving Day 1. I'm combining it here.

You know how they say that battle plans last only until the battle begins? So, too, for moving plans. 

The Chubby Hubby had this aggressive plan on which rooms we'd move each day, what time we'd leave by, etc.  The CH lives in a fantasy world.

I figured we'd leave to get the truck by 8:30, be home with it before 10:00. Uh, no. We didn't leave till 9:30 because CH wasn't ready.  But we got there and I discovered that we could have gotten there at 7:30, a fact the CH hadn't told me.  Fine, we're now running late.  I have to be at the house by 2 because cable guy is coming between 2 and 5, and the electrician is coming at 4 - but the husband plans to be there WELL before 4, with the loaded truck, to meet the electrician.

So problem 1 - we ran late.

Problem 2 - as we drove to get the truck, the battery light lit up in the car.  The car I was going to leave out in at noon, to drive to the country.  Where I know there are places on the road which have no cell phone coverage (middle of the Potomac river bridge is just one place).  So after the CH heads off in the truck for home, I drive the car to the mechanic - the one we give so much business to that we call him our Corporate Partner (this is what happens when you are keeping older cars on the road), and explain the problem.  And that the Check Engine light is on as well, because the engine is running too lean.   I asked him to look at things and give us a call, giving him the CH's cell  number.  Spawn picks me up from there and we meet CH at home.

I call Comcast to verify that the cable guy is coming.  It takes 20 minutes to get thru' to a human and do this.  Husband was on the phone with someone else during all this, I've forgotten who or why. I run out to get rope and a lock for the truck.

Time to load truck.  Well, it turned out that spawn had packed about 20% of his room and the pantry, rather than the 80% I had assumed he had packed.  What had he been doing over those days?  I have NO idea.  I had the library fully packed, and the living room and my office 80% packed before running out of room to put the full boxes.

Notice that CH hadn't packed a thing? That the office/laboratory/business hadn't been packed at all? Sigh.

I help load the truck as fast as I could from 11:30 till noon, when I had to leave. Very little was on truck.  But I leave two men in charge.  No problem, right?

I get to the house early, so I take a side trip to find out where the Aldi's is.  Success!  I even find a faster route than the obvious one back from the Aldi's.  Get to the house a little before 2.

And I wait.  I clip coupons. I plug in the laptop (I brought it and a small TV so I could be damn sure cable and internet worked before cable guy left), and listen to music. And I go online thru' an unsecured ethernet connection someone in the area has, to see what's on sale at Rite Aid and Food Lion.  I also have lunch.

I wait more.  Around 4 the cable guy arrives, I explain what we want, he marvels at the kluges others have put in for cable wiring.  He gets to work.

Husband calls - they are running late.  They leave the house around 3:30, for a two hour drive. Electrician is due at 4.  He tells me what he wants done.  Fine.

Cable guy keeps working. I keep waiting. At 4 CH calls - ooops he forgot he can't take a truck on the parkway. He's taking Rt 1 instead.  Will be later than his already late estimate.  Whatever.

Electrician gets there at 5 ish.  We go over what is needed.  He'll report it to the business owner, I'll report to husband, they'll talk tomorrow about the estimate.

Husband gets there around 6.  Cable guy is just finishing up, I'm signing the finished work order.  Husband and son haven't had lunch yet.  I offer food, husband wants to unpack truck while there is light.

We start unpacking. One bookcase promptly falls apart.  It gets dark.  I send the guys in to nuke some dinner.  Spawn makes his in oven instead, takes 45 minutes.  He does little unloading during his wait.  I unload and unload and then nuke some dinner for me.  We finish unloading a bit before 9, leave out around 9. 

I take a seriously needed shower, and several ibuprofens. 

That, my dears, was day 1.  About 1/2 of planned objectives met.

Day two begins.  I do dishes. I start packing, since now I have room to put full boxes again.  Get my office and the living room to 90% done. 

The guys slowly start packing.  Then they break to vote and pick up repaired car.  The one no one called us to give us an estimate or approve work on.  Which now has a rebuilt alternator, and a bill of $600.  They return.

I head out to vote and hit the store for more prepared meals, and a veggie tray, and OJ, and to fill the car.  Come back and pack and make boxes for CH.  It takes CH 16 boxes to pack his first bookcase.  We start loading truck.  My knee - the one with torn cartiledge and arthritis - soon tells me that I can't do the stairs a whole lot.  I go back to packing.

Husband's schedule says that the library, my office, the living room, and the kitchen will all be done being moved by end of day.  It is 3:35 right now - I've barely started packing the kitchen.  We are consistently making 1/2 of the estimated progress each day.

But we're at least at 100% of painkiller.

I must get packing and lifting and loading. 

Frondly, Fern

CPT #13 Marinade Beef

Blessings, Darlings!

While we're on beefiness here, let's talk about our American love of grilling.

It's dangerous.

Yes, getting your sear on adds flavor and complexity to the flavor of meat.  But it raises the carcinogens (HCAs, or heterocyclic amines) on the meat a whole lot.

What to do?  Boil everything?


Going to grill meat?  Okay, Marinade it first.  That can reduce the amount of HCA's by up to 88%.  AND adds flavor. Win-win, if you ask me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Museum Eating

Blessings, Darlings!

I'm not here to talk about food-court food or that type of mall.  I'm talking about the food in and around the Mall in DC.

When we first got to DC, the museums and food stands of the Mall were not exactly a 'food destination'.  Boring and tasteless, with very few healthy options, or vegetarian options, or fresh foods.  Case in point was the National Air and Space Museum.  They had a cafeteria, but could not cook food there.  The volatiles given off by cooking would harm the exhibits.  So there, and I believe in ALL the museums, the food had to be cooked off-site and sent in by conveyor belt, sort of kept warm.  The cheeseburgers were to die from, not for.

Best of the lot was a little restaurant on the ground floor of the National Gallery of Art, West, the Garden Cafe.  It was very pleasant, quite overpriced, but had food that was nice.  Second to that was the ice cream parlor in the American History Museum - great ice cream, AWFUL service.

That has changed over time.  Not that I think that the fast food places that have been moved into the Air &  Space Museum are worth the calories or my money - but at least they are cooking it on site with appropriate ventilation.

But now there are some OUTSTANDING places to eat.  The Cascade Cafe, in the basement between the National Galleries, is wonderful cafeteria, with good sushi and other foods, outstanding desserts, etc.  One of my favorite is bookstores there as well.

And, oh my Gods, the cafeteria of the National Museum of the American Indian!  The Mitsitam Cafe features foods of the Americas.  Amazing food. Pricey food, but worth it. 

Frondly, Fern

CPT #12 Grass is Good

Blessings, Darlings!

I'm talking about grass fed organic beef, my dears.  What did you THINK I was talking about? 

Pastured organic beef - well, really, beef without growth hormones specifically - lowers the chances of early puberty especially in our daughters.  Which lowers their risk of breast cancer.

Frondly, Fern