Archive for the ‘The Adventures of Moving’ Category
My husband and I have had crazy summers since we met—always traveling to vacations or conferences (together, apart, whatever), visiting family, etc. In fact, in the five years I’ve known him, we have actually moved a total of five times, just in the summers alone.
Ricki to Westlake, Ohio—Summer of ’05 / Kyle to Athens, Ga.—Summer of ’05
Kyle to Lawrenceville, Ga.—Summer of ’06 / Ricki to Lawrenceville, Ga.—Summer of ’06 (yes, we were moving from *different* places—this was right after we got married)
Ricki & Kyle to Harrisonburg, Va.—Summer of ’09
Since our last (hopefully last for a long long while) move this past fall to McGaheysville, you’d think we’d chill. But yeah . . . we aren’t.
In the last four weeks, I have been to*:
- St. Simons Island, Ga.
- Wilmington, N.C.
- Myrtle Beach, S.C.
- Cleveland, Ohio
(All for almost a week each—except Wilmington, which we went to twice but only stayed for a total of about 6 hours)
*Kyle has been to N.C., S.C. and Utah.
I have seen:
- A bunch of writers and publishing peeps (at the Southeastern Writers Association conference)
- My writing BFF & her husband
- One of Kyle’s UGA buddies/my friend (2x)
- My in-laws
- Lots of fireworks and alligators
- The city of Cleveland get screwed over on national television
- My parents (2x)
- A friend from grade school/high school (2x)
- Eclipse (2x)
- My best friend & her family
- Two former fellow Malley’s girls
- An editor friend
- My uncle
- A friend from high school
- A friend from college (2x)
- One of my former college professors/mentor
- A friend from theater
- Kyle’s colleague/friend and her son
I have bought/received:
- Much alcohol & many delicious meals
- Two T-shirts—one from Malley’s and this one:
I have broken:
- 1 Gateway PC
- 1 bottle of Woolite
I have read:
- 3 books and started 3 others
- My entire manuscript again
I have edited:
- About 60 pages of a MS
I have written:
- Um . . . who knows? A lot, but I haven’t been counting.
So, when I was just sitting here going, “Why am I so exhausted?” Um—that’s why.
RWA Nationals in Orlando, Fla., baby!
I just wanted to let you know why I’ve been MIA the last few days and why I’ll be MIA for a few more.
First, my parents are in town, beginning Operation House Demo—and, as if remodeling craziness were not enough, my husband’s grandmother passed away over the weekend (she was 97, and her health had been dwindling for the past six months or so).
Tomorrow, we make the journey to my in-laws’—about 15 hours on the road and just an overnight stay because the hubs is currently teaching summer school—so I have been scrambling to tie up loose ends and the blog took a back seat. Sorry!
However, please enjoy this oldie but goodie post, a tribute to my own grandmother, in my absence.
I hope you are all having a great holiday weekend—I’ll be back in a few days.
I know I’ve been a bit quieter than normal the last couple of days, but I’ve been seriously swamped: My parents are visiting the ‘burg—my mom and I got Mothers’ Day pedicures this morning AND we started planning our house renovations with my dad today—I’m editing a manuscript, reading two others, and writing my second . . . so I’ve had to take a bloggity blog break.
SHENOWRIMO* WEEK 1 UPDATE
First of all, it’s been going really well. All the Shenandoah Writers Online members who’ve been participating—and there are several—are kicking major ass. ::applause::
My “official” word count goal is 1,000 words/day- but I’m *really* hoping to do 1,500/day, and I have pretty much been sticking to that . . . until this weekend.
I planned to catch up after the ‘rents went to bed last night and before they woke this morning—and while I chipped away with a respectable 516 words last night, Momma Bear and Papa Bear rose pretty much at dawn today, so this is the first writing time I’ve had.
I’m a little disappointed—not that my parents are here—don’t get me wrong!—but I had such great momentum going, and I’m worried I won’t catch up to my 1500-word “unofficial” goal until after they leave.
I did get to talk about the book for about an hour today, though, and I think that helped the wheels turn a bit. Hopefully, the words will ooze from my fingertips this eve.
All that said, it’s great to visit with them. My hubs and I don’t get to see either of our folks as much as we want, so I’ve decided to make my peace with the writing and get something down whenever I can. Just gotta chip away at the deficit, right? Hopefully, I won’t have too too much to make up the rest of the week.
I am at 11,077 words—1,077 over my “official” goal and 3,923 under my unofficial one . . .
. . . and that’s my cue to get back to work!
ONE LAST THING
Bravo to everyone participating in SheNoWriMo. This has been so great so far, and I promise to catch up and make all y’all proud! (And no, I don’t normally say “all y’all”!)
*It’s not too late to join the SheNanigans! (<— Yep, I’m a HUGE dork.) Click here for more details about SWO & SheNoWriMo.
Anyone who has followed this blog for a while knows that, when I talk about Little Boy Beard, it’s not a good thing.
He’s been in hiding for a while, but the stalkerish pubescent Kroger employee reappeared after a few months without a trace. This time, however, it was at Food Lion.
There’s really not much to this story except to say that I now go out of my way to avoid seeing this kid who accosted hit on me during my first Kroger experience in Harrisonburg—we even moved half an hour away (not because of him, but it does sound more dramatic if I say it that way) . . . and I walk into Food Lion to pick up a lousy gallon of milk only to recognize him by his scraggly little boy beard?
The hubs and I guffawed at the sight of him—and promptly got the hell out of there.
But now on to more pleasant matters . . . it seems Molly is not the only one to make a friend.
Yes, in the midst of gluing myself to my office chair for 23 hours a day, I met up-and-coming young adult author Jodi Meadows a month or two ago. What’s more, we pried ourselves away from our laptops for over two hours the other day and had coffee— IRL (in real life) at the very Barnes & Noble where Shenandoah Writers meets.
Jodi actually blogged about this (and because she did, I don’t feel so nerdy blogging about it—hee!) and told the story much more eloquently than I probably will, but here it is:
A few months ago, I stumbled upon a blog post talking about being hesitant to tell people you’re a writer. The post struck me because I had been feeling the same way, so I included it in that week’s “This Week in the Blogosphere” post.
SPOOKY, BUT AWESOME
- Jodi must have had Google alerts set up on it (?) or checked her blog hits or something, and she realized we live—seriously—about 10-15 minutes from one another. !
- She contacted me, and we got to chatting via e-mail and Twitter and came to find we both write young adult lit (although she writes spec-fic and I write contemporary). !!
- I also discovered that, because she used to read slush for former literary agent Jenny Rappaport, we are familiar with many of the same peeps in the publishing industry. !!!
- To top it off, she writes full time—!!!!
- —loves coffee—!!!!!
- —AND we are very close in age—!!!!!!
I was obviously ecstatic. But also terribly intimidated. And, I felt like kind of a goof for being so excited. I certainly didn’t want to tell her how Urkel I felt about meeting her. How lame would she think I was??
So when she suggested we grab some coffee, when she Tweeted something equally as dorky as what I was thinking (about hoping I would think she was cool and vice versa), and when she turned out to be super down to earth and nice, I was happy.
I know it’s all terribly fifth grade to be so “Do you want to be my friend,” but as I discussed in a previous post, it’s tough to meet people when you’re an adult . . . and you move . . . and you don’t have kids . . . and you write full time.
Among things like learning that Jodi has five ferrets and a Kippy, has written 17 manuscripts (!), and has been married for seven years, I also learned Jodi just signed with an agent.
So, that basically means I hate her.
I don’t take care of my teeth as well as I should.
There. I said it.
Despite not always doing what I should, I remain cavity free—*KOW*—and have been told I have very good “dental genes”— whatever that means.
Why, then, do I dread going to the dentist?
DENTIST AS “THE SHYSTY MECHANIC”
From the time my teeth came in until I got married, I went to the same dentist every six months.
When my wisdom teeth arrived, Dr. Karfeld made the call to extract only the bottom two (since, during the braces incident of ’95, two of my premolars had to be removed, and I had the room up there).
The first time I went for a checkup in Georgia, the new guy was all over me about pulling them. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, he’d said, but I needed to have them pulled as soon as possible.
My dentist of 20-some years didn’t see a need for it—this new hygienist had even complimented me on my tooth-cleanliness—so, why?
Because going to the dentist is like going to a mechanic or handing over your computer to some technician. You need this person to do something you can’t do. He (or she, I know, I know . . .) has the means to do the job, and you don’t, so you’re pretty much stuck doing what he says because he’s the expert.
When I didn’t go back to Captain Extractor, D.D.S., I got a letter from the office saying they were “concerned about my teeth.” Really?
DENTIST AS A JUDGING MOTHER
So, I went back to my old dentist when I visited Cleveland.
My normal hygienist had the day off, so some new girl lectured me on how I needed to be flossing.
Yes, yes—eeeevery night. I know. <eye-roll> Does anyone, other than my friend Rockie, really do that? Don’t try to act like you’re my mother and you caught me smoking in my room—we’re talking about flossing. Even you had to admit my teeth were pret-ty clean for belonging to such a flossless heathen. Still zero cavities, bee-otch.
I kept mum about my wisdom teeth when Dr. Karfeld came to evaluate my mouth—and he didn’t mention them until I told him about the other dentist.
“You could pull them, but as long as you keep them clean—which you’re doing—it’s not really necessary.”
(Karfeld = not a shyster)
DENTIST AS A PSYCHOLOGIST
So . . . I put off going to the dentist as long as my conscience would allow, now that we moved states again. I walked into my new, Virginia dentist with trepidation. Would this guy want to slice up my gums like Dr. Drills-a-lot? Would the hygienist detect that I had forgotten to brush before bed once last week?
Determined to “beat” the dental system, I flossed three times prior to my visit, changed the tip on my battery-powered toothbrush, rinsed with mouthwash nightly and vowed not to utter a peep about my wisdom teeth . . .
. . . and as soon as I put head to dentistry chair, I spewed my entire tooth history for some reason. The hygienist hadn’t even said the dreaded “F” word, but it was like I had entered a psychologist’s office. Maybe they had me rinse with truth serum instead of water?
Dentist #3 is all for me keeping my remaining wisdom teeth, as long as they keep looking as good as they do now. So YAY!
Still no cavities. Double YAY!
So I guess I needn’t fear the dentist anymore.
Oh, and this new guy’s son is a writer, so I might even gain a writing pal out of the deal. Hooray for Harrisonburg!
Like many, I have sung “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s without thinking about what the words really mean. Basically, it’s about honoring the days of long ago—raising a glass for old times’ sake—and I think it’s important we all do that once in a while, to remember all those who had a hand in making us who we are today.
Since moving to Georgia four years ago (and then to Virginia five months ago), my husband and I have traveled to our respective homes quite a lot, and it’s usually during these long road trips that I “Dickens it up” and reflect on my past, present, and future.
This week, we are in Phase III of our insane-o three-part holiday trip: to Georgia (for his grad school graduation); Columbus, Ohio (to visit his family); and Cleveland, Ohio (to visit mine). We have had so many great evenings, catching up with friends and relatives, and I am thrilled that we have another four days before it’s back to reality; however, even as I cuddle between my parents’ beagle and mine and finish some work before dinner at my BFF’s, I feel emotional and panicky—and it’s not just all the coffee I’ve consumed today.
We are so lucky to be able to travel so much and for so long, but it’s not without difficulty. While we’re on vacation, these visits are often far from relaxing because we pack so much into every day, every hour—and yet, we don’t get to see everyone we want to see or do everything we want to do with our families.
For instance, I made lunch plans with my “Lion” (both times I’ve played “Dorothy,” I’ve had the same awesome “Cowardly Lion”), whom I haven’t seen since I got married. Though I’m ecstatic to see him, he represents about 15 others from my theatre days whom I haven’t seen since then—or longer—that I would love to see—and that makes me sad.
Before we left Columbus, I actually made an Excel spreadsheet to schedule visits with all the Cleveland people I’d contacted in terms of getting together—which honestly doesn’t even scratch the surface as far as all the people I would like to see—and I still wasn’t able to fit in everyone. That’s with listing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the whole week! Ugh—I feel terrible about it, but ya just can’t do it all.
One might ask why I stress about seeing people I haven’t seen in over three years, using the logic that if I haven’t kept in touch much in that amount of time, those peeps probably aren’t that important to me. While that statement might be logical, it simply isn’t true. There are so many people who have something to do with the person I am today, and I truly wish I could stay here a month and get together with them all. It would be well worth the 50 pounds I’d probably gain from all the drinks and dinners we’d consume!
So, for all those people who helped shape who I am (including not only my college and grad school mentors, cousins, family friends, and theatre pals but also former students and people I did get to see this trip but didn’t get to all-the-way catch up with), know that you’re in my thoughts often and in my heart always.
(See? I told you I have been feeling corny nostalgic.)
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
My husband and I have either been hunched over our laptops, asleep during daylight hours, or NOT in Virginia, so we haven’t been the best when it comes to filling up our social calendar—but our beagle, Molly, has a new buddy.
Every time I take her outside, this kitty from next door – I believe it’s a Japanese bobtail (?) – runs over from wherever she is and nuzzles Molly right in the face.
The first few times, Miss Molly Moo didn’t know what to make of this. She jerked her head back – fur up – and gave me a quizzical glance, but she has since become comfortable enough to wag her tail when her feline pal approaches.
For a while, I thought the kitty had been abandoned by our next door neighbors, since there’s a “For Sale” sign in their front yard.
We certainly don’t want a cat, but if I determined that to be the case, I’m not sure I could have resisted at least bringing in the poor little thing at night.
When we returned from our latest trip, however, we noticed the neighbors had put up Christmas lights in the front yard, so I think we can remain guilt-free about being kitty-less. Whew!
The cuteness between them kinda reminds me of a Warner Bros. cartoon from my childhood called “Feed the Kitty.” It’s seven minutes of adorableness. Enjoy!
I bought five bags of Halloween candy (at nearly 10 bucks a pop!) in anticipation of this evening’s festivities.
How many Trick-or-Treaters will we get on a dead-end street in a mountainous ski resort? Not sure, but I wanted to be prepared for anything.
Since we’ve just moved and are up to our eyeballs in dissertations and manuscript edits, I was a bad dog mama and had to recycle Molly’s jester costume this year.
I’m impressed she can still fit into a costume from three years ago!
And, as it’s 2:30 AM, let’s revel in some pictures from Halloweens past, shall we?
Here’s what’s frightening me this year:
Being that there are no protractors in the house (my hubs left all of his at the office), I have to go as Crazy Wristwatch Beard this year.
For my bookish types who want some scary news about the publishing industry, read literary agent Nathan Bransford’s post, This Week in Publishing.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Perhaps you remember my first Kroger experience in Harrisonburg, with the little-boy-bearded teenage. If not, click here.
Well, he struck again. This time less creepy—but no less irritating.
My mother-in-law and I went to buy cleaning supplies—and beer—so we could spruce up the new house. We went to Kroger because it’s the closest grocery store to where we now live.
I had just relayed the story of my little-boy-bearded friend when, lo and behold, there he was—in our line.
“Hi, Mom,” he said to my M-I-L as he bagged a bottle of Pine-Sol.
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. “Because we look so much alike?” she later said as we loaded the bags into my trunk. (She’s about 5’8″ with blonde hair and blue eyes; I’m 5’3″ with brown hair and eyes.)
After the clerk lady ascertained why we had all these cleaning products and a 12-pack of Bud Light Golden Wheat, Captain I-Would-Love-to-Give-You-a-Kiss-or-at-Least-My-Number-Right-Now would not give us the beer. He held it out and yanked it away.
FYI: Do not stand between someone who has just bought a house and beer. This annoyed even my mother-in-law, who is probably one of the most patient people I have ever met.
“Are you even old enough to be holding that?” I had to ask.
Hey—if you’re going to be a pain in the ass, I’m going to treat you like a pain in the ass.
He surrendered, but not before a few more playful yanks out of my reach.
Oh, the fun I know we’re going to have, LittleBoyBeard and I. The anticipation of seeing him every time I shop, the quick looks over my shoulder, the futile attempts to avoid his lines…
Just. Can’t. Wait.
This summer, a friend, who moved away from Atlanta around the same time we did, and I discussed how hard it is to meet people because the only people you meet initially are your coworkers…
…and if you don’t really have any of those (except virtually), that makes it even tougher.
So…here is today’s story about how I’m a nerd:
There’s this guy that lives downstairs in my building.
Here’s what I know about him: he lives alone, he seems to be about my husband’s age, and he has a dog. He also has a University of Georgia front license plate (my hubs is finishing up a grad program there—and that’s the reason we lived in Georgia for three years). Whenever my husband or I see this guy, we chit-chat about the Georgia Bulldogs, our respective dogs, the weather, etc.
Afterward, I’m always like, “Why aren’t we friends with that guy?” It’s ridiculous. We know each others’ dogs’ names, but we are not on human first-name basis. It’s like an awkward first date, where neither party is willing to make the first move.
Today, I noticed he also has a James Madison University parking pass hanging from the rearview mirror of his car (and, from the awkward neighborly convo I had with him this afternoon, I’m pretty sure he teaches at the university—just like my hubs.)
Sound like I’m stalking this guy? I’m not; it’s just that, other than a few of my hubby’s coworkers, our realtor, the girl who cuts my hair, and the boy who hits on me at Kroger, we haven’t met anyone yet. Not really.
I mean, I know that, once my writing group gets going, once I actually go to the classes I’ve been eyeing at the university rec center, and once we spend more than two consecutive weeks actually IN Harrisonburg, we’ll meet some people. Oh, and I’ve heard that, once we have kids, we’ll meet some folks…but that seems like a lot of work just to find a someone to get pedicures with.
But, I’ve seen this strange behavior before.
In Georgia, we didn’t befriend the downstairs neighbors, dog names AND people names, for over a year. I didn’t really bond with any new coworkers until almost two years went by. And then, one day, I was like, This is just stupid.
With the big move from temporary nightmare apartment looming into view at the end of the week, time appears to be running out with Mr. Belle’s Owner. So I guess we’re going to have to push up the This is just stupid moment.
But what do we do, slip a note under his door that says, “Want to watch the UGA game at BW3′s? Circle one: YES NO MAYBE”?
When did making friends become so difficult? Ugh.