December 22, 2008

Driving - Day 2

The camera was forgotten in the trunk during the first day of driving, but you didn't miss much. Iowa is very boring. Then again, you didn't miss much during day 2 either.. Nebraska is also boring. There is only one interstate in Nebraska, and we were on it. Most of the way looked like this:

Honestly, I don't remember if this was Nebraska or Wyoming. I'm going with Nebraska though; because except for the part inside the Great Divide Basin, which was a big bowl of nothing, Wyoming was fairly interesting.

DS and I debated over the purpose of these fences, which we saw all over the place on Day 2. Originally, he though they were to stop snow drifts from making it to the interstate; but then he decided they were just wind barriers. Anyone know? They definitely always seem to be keeping something from the interstate, but they certainly weren't solid, so it wasn't for people or animals.

This one was somewhere close to the Nebraska/Wyoming border, where things started to get interesting.

This giant coyote sculpture was pretty cool, though this picture of it isn't.

This is the Sinclair refinery in Sinclair, WY, makers of Sinclair gasoline. It was HUGE, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and had the smallest little town consisting of, we assumed, only the people that work there. The only thing it looked like that had other than a few houses and a water tower was a building near the interstate with the word BAR written across the entire roof. Yeah... I'd probably drink a lot too if I lived there.

The cats were drugged each day they were in the car, but it usually took 1-2 hours for them to calm down enough to actually be knocked out. Winston really fought going to sleep, and occasionally protested by laying down in the litter box. Let me tell you, the car smelled AWESOME after this trip.

Other things worth noting that do not have pictures to accompany them:

  1. Drove over several rivers of note, but all were frozen solid; Mississippi, Missouri, and others but I got tired of writing it down.
  2. Saw a sign for the Mines of Spain in Dubuque, IA. Wondered how they got across the Atlantic.
  3. Drove past some lime kilns near Huntsville (Hurtsville?), IA that looked really cool. One benefit of us missing a turn and adding an hour and a half to the trip. No other benefits.
  4. Drove through Omaha, NE. Actually saw three "skyscrapers". Was astounded.
  5. Stopped for gas in Buford, WY. Population? 1.

December 21, 2008


Life has been crazy. I'm sure I've mentioned the deadline I had at work. Because of that, my last three weeks of work were over 50 hours each. Mon-Wed of this week I was at least 12 hours a day. Normal fare for a deadline really, but not at all welcome considering I was supposed to be packing. So there was stress.

On top of that, my ear started hurting. It's hard to go to the doctor when you're working 12 hours. I finally went Thursday, once the deadline was over. Turns out, I have two ear infections, and inner and an outer, in one ear. Oh, and a fever. Lovely. Apparently that's enough for two different kinds of antibiotics. It's a little better now, but not great. At least I can touch my ear without screaming.

Thursday night Luke had one last wine and cheese party. This one was much more low key. No fancy clothes, and fewer people. It was a sort of "end of the deadline" celebration mixed with "oh crap, we have like 4 more days before we're gone". We spent the evening watching Animaniacs, which including about 10 showings of the Nations of the World song.

That night while we slept, we got about a foot of snow.

Friday, my last day of work, wasn't really work at all. It took most of the day to backup my computer for the tech people and clean out my office. Something I had planned on doing a little at a time, but stress helped me forget. I had a paper airplane a day calendar at work, and because of that, I had a HUGE mound of paper airplanes in my office. Luke and I had forgotten to do Jim's office for his birthday, which fell during the deadline freak out. Jim was late because of the snow, so the airplanes are now all over his office. Clean my office? Check! Destroy someone else's? Check! I had an exit interview, my keycard was confiscated, and then I went to the annual Christmas party. Work parties are generally fairly boring, but the food is good, and I got to hang out with my friends one last time. It was a good time for a party.

Friday night, DS and I finally got around to packing. But I was exhausted from the past week, so we stopped early. The pods to move our stuff were delivered Thursday, and DS was absolutely sure our stuff wouldn't fit in them. So we also spent some time Friday night debating which things could be left behind. Saturday morning came, and DS left early to get the u-haul trailer we're going to pull behind the car (since the earliest our stuff will be delivered is new year's eve, and that's a little longer than we'd like to be apart from some things; like the cat stuff... they're freaked enough as it is"). What should have taken an hour at most ended up taking at least two, so he came back even more stressed.

We had until 1 to finish packing, and then friends arrived to help us load the pods. We weren't exactly done, but the greater majority of things was packed and ready to go. Four people came to help, and it was the most amazing thing ever. I cannot tell you how much of a difference help makes when you're moving. The first time DS and I moved while we were in Wisconsin, we did it alone. It took over 20 hours, and we finished when the sun was rising the next day. Of course, I had to work the next day. This time, we had the pods loaded in like 4 hours. And that included stopping to eat dinner. Even more amazing, everything that has to go in the pods is now successfully in there, and we still have plenty of room. I really can't believe how much stuff you can fit into a 6x7x8 space. Now the trailer really will be just for the stuff we can't live without, because we certainly don't need the space.

So today, we're packing up the leftover stuff scattered around, and then cleaning. Later tonight, we have dinner plans with our closest friends, and I'm secretly afraid I'm going to cry the whole time. Then all we have to do is make it through the night, and we're off first thing tomorrow morning. We'll spend the night somewhere around North Platte, NE, and then make it to Salt Lake City the following day. We'll spend Christmas there with some of DS's friends. They have dogs, but we've been assured we'll have the basement to ourselves, and that the dogs won't be able to get down there. The cats are already disturbed, and they HATE the car. So I'm hoping just being out of the car for a few days will be a blessing enough that they won't have heart attacks about the dogs upstairs. They've never encountered dogs before, but judging from Winston's disastorous encounter with a kitten, I can't imagine seeing a dog would go well.

Depending on when the landlord will agree to let us in the new place, we'll leave SLC either the 27th or 28th and make one last push. This is the leg of the trip I'm most excited about, since it goes through the desert, Las Vegas and LA, three places I've never been. Then we'll get "home" just in time to go to bed. Internet gets turned on the 29th. We'll have a couple of days to do the necessary evils, like going to the DMV (BLEH!!!), and then our belongs should arrive and we'll have to unpack everything. Unfortunately, this will probably be alone, as the only person I know there is someone I haven't seen since high school.

All in all, I'm both excited about the new place, and terribly sad that going there means leaving this place. There have been a lot of transitions in my life here in Wisconsin, but right this moment, life is very good and very happy. I will miss a lot of things, like my job which I loved despite how nuts it could be, and the town itself. But mostly, I will miss my friends. Especially Luke. If there were one person I could put in a box and take with me, it would be him.

Goodbye Madison. I love you.

December 20, 2008

Madison "Lasts"

Our (almost) last snowfall in Madison. A whole foot!
(It snow some the day we packed up.)

Our going away party at the climbing gym. Most of DS's friends were climbing. Mine holed up in the "birthday party" room to play Rock Band.

We made sure to take one last trip to the Madison Zoo (which is free..we'll miss that). We said goodbye to our favorite polar bear.
(He's sniffing.. but it looks terrifying, doesn't it?)

Kate, whom I worked with, but probably never really talked about on here*, made me this sweet cake from scratch! We accidentally left the Legos with Luke (they were specially picked out to look like us).
*not to be confused with any of the billion other Kates or Katies I refer to

One last office shot. My marker board, and its last hoorah: an ongoing community art project that all started with that pipe-totin' guy on the right. Quite a few people had a hand in this, and I enjoyed watching it evolve everyday.

December 07, 2008

snow snow snow

The 10 day forecast has 9 days of snow in it.  Exactly two weeks from today, we'll be on the road to our new home.  The weather has me worried, and strangely anxious to get away.  This is weird, because I love snow and winter.  But some combination of angst for carrying all my stuff across a frozen, snow and ice covered parking lot, and the promise of 60 degrees that awaits me, has me excited for what's to come.

Meanwhile, I'm packing.  I've made the decision to not craft anymore between now and having a craft room, with the exception of two Christmas gifts I need to finish, and smaller, portable projects like knitting and needlepoint and crochet.  Those things will stay with me, and give me something to do in the car and until our things arrive around New Year's.

Also, I'm considering cutting my bangs.  This is something I haven't done, man, I don't know, elementary school?  But I'm currently obsessed with Jennifer Love Hewitt (she's so pretty and sweet!  i would love to be her friend in real life; she doesn't seem stuck up at all) and I've been watching the Ghost Whisperer from Netflix, and she has big thick hair like I do.  And her bangs look good on her.  So I'm debating it.  We'll see.  It's not the type of thing that is easily undone, and I'm afraid it will drive me crazy.  Hair in general drives me crazy.

Okay, back to laundry, and packing, and cleaning up this place.  Packing is messy.

Oh wait!  Almost forgot!!  I got an early Christmas present yesterday!!!  My mom sent me a new sewing machine, the Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter.  It. Is. Awesome!  98 stitches!!  I'm so excited to use it, though it's staying in the box until I have a craft room to put it in.  Luckily, that's not too far off :)

December 03, 2008

22 Days until Christmas (2008)

Here is it, the house I spoke of yesterday*. Take a good look at it. Most of the stuff on the right is the tree in the front yard, and the lights along the bottom are the reflections on the top of DS's car. Seriously, I think they grabbed every type of light they could find, and just threw them at the house! I can't stop looking at it :)

*umm.. by yesterday, i apparently mean two days ago. wtf? i don't have time to lose days right now!!

December 01, 2008


I can't believe it's December....  when you've been planning a move for as long as I have, having it actually get close is.. weird.  Also, it's snowing.  Not too horrible out at the moment.. maybe three inches?  But the 10 day forecast is full of the stuff.  I'm not looking forward to loading the moving crates through all that.

In funnier news, I saw a house today whose decorations can only be described as "christmas vomit".  It was as if christmas just threw up, or sneezed, and the lights sprayed onto the house.  It was so badly done that I couldn't look away, which made it almost good.  I took a quick picture, and hopefully I'll try to remember to post it tomorrow.  Not sure you get the same effect, but it can't hurt!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a cat that needs cuddling and a book that needs reading in bed.