movin’ on down

We have officially moved! AGAIN! This time was slightly less painful because we decided that, after three moves last year which we did ourselves, this time we were hiring pros. It was spendy but absolutely worth it. We are so over moving! Hopefully there will be just one more move in our near future, next year or the year after, whenever we are ready to buy our next home. (I know, we said this last time. And the time before that. Hopefully this time it will actually be true!)

The process of moving went surprisingly smoothly and the movers we used were very speedy. Aside from the brief panic I felt when they showed up an hour early (cue mad dash to find and put on pants), they packed and moved everything in record time.

Move in progress

They packed pretty much everything at Castle Greystone, with the exception of a few fragile things that K had packed and taken over to the new place earlier in the week.

Continued progress

I think it would have taken me a week to pack what they did in less than three hours. Granted, there were four of them, but still, I was pleasantly surprised at how little time it took.


The truck was gigundous! Watching them back it into the not-huge parking lot at The Box Top made me very glad that I didn’t have to figure out how to maneuver it.

Box Top FloorPlanner photo Floorplanner_zps980cc0c3.png

K did an excellent job with planning for the new place. Thanks to a site called FloorPlanner and his careful measuring, he was able to lay out our furniture in advance so that we could tell the movers exactly where to put things so we had as little moving-around to do after they were gone. The site even had green chairs that look pretty much exactly like our vintage pair!

Things are starting to come together at the Box Top.

The space in the new place is pretty similar to that of the old place, so that made things easy. We also streamlined a little bit and decided to store a few more pieces of furniture that aren’t needed in the new space (mega thanks to Susan and her hub for being our storage until we buy our next home!).


Despite the easy arrangement of the furniture, of course, there was the matter of the 50+ boxes of crap we own. MUST GET RID OF MORE STUFF.


UGH. If we had moved all of this ourselves I am not sure I would have been up to facing the unpacking so quickly.


As it was, though, we got all the boxes unpacked (with the exception of those that are pretty much in stay-packed mode right now, such as those holding holiday decorations) by the following day around lunch time.


This photo does not do justice to just how much packing paper this is. I did not even attempt to count it.


Somewhat unpacked! I did not use any sort of organization while unpacking things like books and media. K started out being super careful but I felt that it was taking too long so I just unloaded boxes and threw things up on the shelves in whatever order I found them. We’re in the process of divesting ourselves of a lot of our books and media so I knew we’d be going through it again anyway. Getting rid of all the boxes that were in the middle of everything was a much higher priority for me.


Feeling pretty decent about getting things unpacked so quickly! We also felt great about the fact that some friends were able to pick up the boxes and packing paper for an upcoming move so those were gone on Sunday morning. That freed up a significant amount of space, too!


We’ve made even more progress that I haven’t yet taken photos of. Since we got unpacked on Saturday, we spent the rest of that day organizing things. We have a little less kitchen cupboard space than we did before, so that’s a slight challenge, but we’re making it work. Then on Sunday we started hanging photos and artwork and ran internet cable before having a lovely lunch with Susan and her hub and my folks (and then filling their vehicle with our extra stuff to be stored at their place). All in all, a very successful weekend!



Specs on keyboard

Things have been super overwhelming lately. I have a lot going on in pretty much every aspect of my life and it all gets a bit HOLY CRAP HOW MUCH MORE CAN I HANDLE at times. Even making time for blogging has been challenging, even though it’s a thing I love to do and actively want to spend more time on.

This week, a big thing I’ve been devoting a ton of time to at work got resolved, so that is a huge load of stress that I can hopefully wrap up and move on from. We’re still getting everything worked out for our upcoming move, though, which means a ton of things to plan and figure out (not that K isn’t doing the lion’s share of the actual work on this – he totally is – I just can’t let go of a big project like that enough to avoid the stress/anxiety that necessarily comes with a move).

And then yesterday’s hugely disappointing SCOTUS news – it’s enough to make one despair for more than a moment!

HOWEVER, I am doing my best to remember the importance of breathing and taking a moment to put things in perspective. I found this post about mood regulation to be insightful and a helpful reminder, too. It’s so easy for me to get into a low mood (usually exacerbated by low blood sugar) and then lean right the eff into it. Consciously reminding myself that I *am* capable of letting it go and not getting sucked in is something I need to do more often.

I’ve also been trying to create more treat yo’self time.

Scully, Wampty's newest resident

Which means that I created a second character in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Here’s Scully! She is mostly bug farming on the island right now, in the pursuit of building up her house so she can house additional furniture collections that don’t fit in my first character’s house. Small pleasures, people.


CMU: New Acquisitions art show

My goodness! So much has been going on lately that I have a bunch of stuff to post that has just been waiting for me to make time to sit down long enough.

We found out (through a careful reading of our new lease documents, NOT through the direct questions we asked the office staff, mind you) that the new owners of our apartment complex decided to raise the rent AND give us the bill for a number of things that were previously covered in the rent (water, trash, etc.), which has effectively priced us out of living here. In addition, our current non-smoking community will no longer be such, and that is a big issue for me (remember when we had to move to a new building here, only a month after moving in the first time, because our neighbors inside the first building were smoking a lot and it was invading/permeating our unit? I am NOT doing that again). So, we’re going to have to move AGAIN before our next, hopefully final for the foreseeable future, move when we buy our next home. We are, as you can imagine, not thrilled about this, but we are trying to see the bright side (even after paying movers, we will still likely save money in the long run due to paying a much lower monthly rent at the new place) (*fingers crossed* that we get the place we’re looking at). We also have to go through all the hassles of moving, having our mail forwarded, and so on – it’s just a huge time- and energy-suck that we were not anticipating.

ANYWAY! On the bright side, I recently went to see an exhibit of new art on CMU’s campus, in the beautiful Baber Room at Park Library.

CMU New Acquisitions art exhibition

Paint by Number (ceramic) by Amy Dziesenski (2014)

I love the juxtaposition of something ephemeral, generally considered to be “low art” with a fine art like ceramics. This piece is really fun (note: all my photos from this show are TERRIBLE and should not be considered to be accurate representations of the artworks).

CMU New Acquisitions art exhibition

The Spirit: Graham, Dickenson, O’Keefe (multi-media quilt) by Ann Kowaleski

I was really excited to see that CMU acquired one of Ann Kowaleski‘s art quilts from her show earlier this year. I am a fan and admirer of her work.


CMU New Acquisitions art exhibition

Batman (ceramic) by Brett Sauve (2013)

This piece was an unexpected delight. It’s Batman, of course, but it’s also a lot more than just that. I really like the artist’s interpretation of the character. I feel like this piece highlights the humanity of the character (rather than focusing on the brutality or sex appeal, as the movies so often do). For me, the eyes especially convey the haunted, lonely life that led Bruce Wayne to take on the Batman mantle. The ears are almost dog-esque (this may just be me – given my love for bat-eared dogs) and their waver-iness gives a feeling of vulnerability. The way his cape is tied reminds me of how a child would tie on a cape, which also leads to that feeling. At any rate, this piece is also just really cool.

This show will be up through July 18 and I highly recommend checking it out.



As you may recall, we were dealing with some gross smoke issues in our apartment. Well, we still are, but we have a plan! Of course that plan involves moving AGAIN, which is sort of soul-crushing, but at least we will have a clean, safe place to live that doesn’t make me gross all the time (and give us cancer).

preparing to move YET again

We have begun packing everything up again, and thanks to our recent purge of extraneous belongings, THANK THE BABY PICARD JESUS, there is a lot less to pack this time.

preparing to move YET again

Also, we are thankfully only moving across the parking lot to a neighboring building near removals eastbourne, so there are a lot of things that can be carried over without real packing (throw clothes on hangers into a laundry basket, carry, and re-hang. Repeat.).

preparing to move YET again

K has been industriously selling books, DVDs, and CDs (even before we knew we were moving again, he saw that we had a lot more media than we really use or want to own), so we have a lot less of those to cart this time, too. There are still more we’d like to re-home, but we’ll get there.

preparing to move YET again

So once again, the dining room is Boxville, but this time there are a lot fewer boxes. We’re hiring some moving helpers to do the big stuff for us, and probably they’ll have time to do a bunch of the boxes as well. We are also super mega grateful to our very generous friends and family who are also coming to help us schlep things across the parking lot!


movin’ on up

Well! It has once again been ages since I posted, because we’ve been super busy with a million more life changes. I got a new job back in Michigan, in the town of Mount Pleasant, which we have missed greatly since moving away in 2006. Since we had packed up all our furniture and household stuff into a storage pod, we had that delivered to our new apartment, along with the U-Haul full of stuff we had from our time in Indiana. It was, in a word, MORE than we would need or could fit into our new place. However, we had to unload everything to see what would work and what was extraneous, so it was a bit of a process to get it all in order.

living room/furniture central

At first the living room was floor to ceiling furniture, but happily we were able to sell one set of living room furniture (couch, loveseat, armchair) the day after moving everything in, so that cleared up a lot of space. We also had boxes stacked in pretty much every area.


dining room/boxville

book box hallway

Because things were so crowded, we had to move things from one area to another repeatedly in order to get it all organized. We were also busy selling off the extra stuff. Hooray for Craigslist and online yard sales! Slowly but slowly, we’ve been able to rehome about half of our furniture and a lot of other small household items we don’t need or have room for. We also sent a lot of our house-maintenance type stuff (lawn mower, snow blower, yard tools, miter saw, etc) to live with Susan for the time being.

After a couple of days, we had a semi-usable living room space!

living room/furniture central

New Craftyton started coming together as well:

New Craftyton coming along

K’s office space got set up pretty quickly so we could stream from the media server on his PC. Priorities!

New Craftyton coming along

Something I’d been wanting to do for awhile was to build a standing desk setup for my PC. I don’t spend tons of time using it for long periods – usually I’m flitting back and forth between it and the cutting table or the sewing machine or the photo-taking setup, so a standing desk makes a lot more sense for me.

To do this, we got a LACK on one of our IKEA runs (we are now the people who make IKEA runs, since we don’t live 3 miles from the store anymore – weird!) and K found a monitor mount on clearance at Target (every time I type monitor, I accidentally type minotaur the first time – I bet in Night Vale they have minotaurs at Target).

monitor mounted!

We haven’t done the proper cable management as of this photo, but the main setup is done!

New Craftyton coming along

We got my thread racks mounted behind the door, so they’re tucked away a bit but still right next to the sewing machine table. I haven’t actually sat down to sew anything yet, but I’ll be ready soon.


After a couple of weeks and a number of false starts, we finally sold the extra queen bed set that had been taking up a lot of space in the dining room. Huzzah!


K made another IKEA run and picked up some BILLY bookcases for the hallway. I was a little skeptical of having bookcases in the hallway at first, but after living with boxes stacked in the hallway for a few weeks, I realized that it would be fine. The bookcases aren’t as deep as the boxes were, so it actually feels almost spacious.



At that point we unloaded all the book boxes (which of course we had moved into the dining room while we put up the bookcases) without much regard for what went where. My goal was really just to empty the boxes so we could break them down and get rid of them!


We also unfolded some of the wooden collapsible bookcases we already had, and loaded them up with CDs and DVDs.


Our goal here is to live within our means space-wise, and K has been busy selling extraneous media online. Yay for minimizing! It seems to be a universal truth that you fill up the space you have with stuff, whether you really need it or not, and we had definitely filled up the 1200+ square feet (plus a nearly equal amount of basement) in our Canton house. It feels really freeing to be letting go of things that we’d walk by every day but hardly ever (or never) used. We know we’ll buy a house again someday, but maybe at that time we’ll be able to think more carefully about the things we acquire.

I’ve now finished my first week of work, so of course I’ve been really tired in the evenings and not up for too much unpacking/organizing. But this weekend we started to hang art and photos, which really makes things feel like home. We also sold the last big pieces of furniture, so our dining room table is actually in the dining room. Baby steps.



We still have more to hang and of course more unpacking to do, but we are getting there.

Overall it’s been a pretty positive experience, despite all the hassle that comes with moving. My only big gripe right now is that we discovered after moving in that smoking is allowed in our building, and we can smell it in the hallways and occasionally in our own apartment. As I’m allergic to tobacco smoke, this is a definite problem. The maintenance service replaced our furnace filter with a stronger, higher quality filter, but it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference. I fear that we will end up having to move AGAIN into a non-smoking building (of course the management did not mention that there was such a thing until after we’d been moved in for a couple weeks) because I’m not sure what other options they can offer that will eliminate the possibility of smoke coming into our apartment. I’m developing a persistent cough already, though, and I do not want our upholstered furniture and clothing to be all contaminated with secondhand smoke. I especially don’t want us to get cancer! Like all the other hurdles, I’m sure we’ll find a solution to this one, though. We will get there!