The Daily EO: July 13th, 2013

You know, I try to remember there are all kinds and it takes all kinds.  But I have packed and moved a lot.  A Lot.  So, when I am involved in a move, I get a little smug about it.  I’ve learned some things:

1.  Get proper packing materials – boxes, packing paper, sharpies, wardrobe boxes, packing tape, etc
2.  Accept that moving day is going to suck – work from dawn to dusk and get it all done in one day.  Trust me – it sucks, get it over with, do not spread it over several days.
3.  Moving Day is called Moving Day not Packing Day.  You don’t pack on Moving Day or Move on Packing Days.
4.  Lifting heavy furniture and other items is for suckers and students.  Hire people who have the proper equipment and experience
5.  Label your boxes – you will not remember where you packed the egg beater

So, given that I know all of this, I am not the best person to invite to a move – unless I was involved in the packing.  And you have listened to the above rules.  No packing in garbage bags, no wrapping up things in newspaper, no asking me to lift your fridge down the stairs.

Fortunately when we moved my grandma today, I had been involved in the packing.  As had my mother – who is even more smug and fastidious (if that is possible) – about packing than I am.

That didn’t make the day at good one, but it certainly made it easier.  The movers were fantastic, the boxes were in and out quickly and she had a working suite by 6 pm that night.

July 13th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  From time of call of the suite availability until completely moved in = 37 days.  (including the gnashing of the teeth about deciding to move)


The Daily EO: January 6th, 2013

We opened boxes today that I packed in Midland, Ontario in August 2011.  Things that were wrapped up with the expectation of being enjoyed again in a couple of months (or weeks?).  Instead, they spent time in a storage warehouse in Gravenhurst, then into first floor of our rental house in Huntsville, then into a storage locker in Huntsville, then across the country to Vancouver where they have sat until we could find time and place for them.

I’ve moved many times, and one thing I’ve learned is leave the pictures on the wall as long as possible.  Take the pictures down when you need to feel a sense of accomplishment on how much you have packed.  White walls with nail holes tell you the end is near – it’s soon time to go.

We’ve still got much in our storage locker to go through, but Sunday we opened the pictures.   Because you can’t have blank white walls and be able to call it home.

Back in 2004, we moved to Huntsville – and moved into our first home together.  It was the first home I had ever owned and the first house my husband (then boyfriend) had even owned.  It was perfect for us then.   We had moved from Toronto and separate apartment living to our own house with many blank walls and empty rooms to fill.

It was while embracing our new home town that we attended our first Huntsville Fall Fair.  The fall fair is what you’d expect from a small rural town.  There is a carnival, local entertainment, farm animals and many ribbons in several categories to compete for.

I was utterly charmed by the fair and by my new town.  When I viewed my husband’s pictures (taken on his then brand new Nikon D70), I enchanted to find what remains to this day one of my all-time favorites images.  We took two from that day (and another one of stacked Ranier cherries at Granville Island) to create a series of 3 perfect large prints for our kitchen.

They were our first pictures together in our first home.  And we hung them again in our Midland home.

January 6th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Today they were hung in our Vancouver home.  I’m glad to see them again.

The Marmalade Glows in the Sun.
Marmalade Glows in the Sun.

The Daily EO: August 31st, 2012

Awake at 7:30 am, I tried in vain to return to sleep.  I am so tired, and I just want this day to be over.  Perhaps if I sleep through it, somehow Emile will complete everything and awaken me with breakfast in bed.  I was wrapped up in a coverless duvet on a sheetless mattress with naked pillows.  I had stripped and washed and packed the bed linen the day before and I certainly wasn’t packing dirty sheets.

I waited, but the smells of frying bacon did not waft under the door – considering we had no pans or bacon this would have been unlikely.  I threw on the first thing I found and wouldn’t wear normally – a bathing suit cover-up dress thing I had – and set about trying how to fit 2 complete wardrobes into 1 tiny Honda fit in a reasonable way to ensure general comfort while driving 3 days across the country.

The answer to this 3-D tetris puzzle eluded me for 24 hours and realized that it was the Kobayashi Maru – if I wanted to win this, I would going to have to change the parameters.  And so I set about sorting my career clothes from my casual clothes.  The work clothes went into cardboard boxes, the casual items into one of my suitcases.  The other suitcase was given to my husband the clothes horse so he could pack everything ready to start work on the 10th.  I then mailed my clothes to the coast.  Emile’s wardrobe takes the space in the car.

While I was in the middle of folding 27 shirts for Emile while still wearing my bathing suit cover-up, the new owners of the house arriving ready to move in.  “No Rush!” they said as they started moving boxes into the house.  Um, we haven’t finished packing or washed ourselves!  Good thing they were friendly people we had got to know a bit.

We quickly finished up with this weird friendly pressure, but this resulted in an uncomfortable and strange situation which I have diagramed for you:

One Thin Door

We pulled out of our house about 2 pm and all I felt is relief. The packing and deciding is done and now the journey begins.  First stop: Toronto to say goodbye to friends over a cooking table at a Japanese restaurant.  Then to my in-law’s friend’s home to say goodbye to their group of friends.

A restful long weekend at my in-laws is in sight – no tasks, just sleep.  Glorious Sleep.  And Sheets.  Sheets are good.

August 31st, 2012 Extra Ordinary:  Homeless and Unemployed, we leave our house.

The Daily EO: August 27th, 2012

Well, it is official.  I am never moving again.  I’ll be one of those old people with two bum hips hobbling around my house – unable to get to the upper floors – but intent on dying in my home.  Surrounded by my unpacked things.  Then someone else could pack up my corpse and my things and leave me out of it.

Despite my efforts to have little clutter – what is it about packing that results in small gatherings of weird stuff- but somehow valuable – all throughout the house?  I mean, you look in one corner and you find your “color palette” when your mother took you to have colours done as a teenager, a mixed tape that your brother made you, a brass “McMaster MBA” business card holder and a pair of plastic handcuffs.  In another room is 10 gold hooks, an attractive empty glass candle holder, a green highlighter, and 3 American dollars.    Over there, a stone that has sentimental meaning but you can’t remember why, a $5 Casino Niagara chip, a hand towel that is stained but could be good for packing and a lid for a stainless steel canister because you know you will find the bottom somewhere around here.

These little collections do not plague me when I am not packing and moving, yet they come out to haunt me when I don’t need the added pressure.  Yes, Yes, I know, I know!  No matter how much planning I do, the last 2 days before a move will suck.  I know it.  You know it.  The little collected piles know it.


Today I wasted time baking stuff – because who wants to pack when you can bake – to use up what I had on hand.  I made a mixed berry crumble; a papaya, pineapple, strawberry, pineapple and tomatillo crisp; and chocolate chip pumpkin cookies.  This effectively used up all the frozen fruit, pumpkin puree, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, plantation raw sugar, cake flour, chocolate chips, safflower oil, tomatillos, add eggs.  Hoorah for me.  Good work!

August 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Realizing that “using up” resulted in Emile and I having to eat 3 dozen pumpkin cookies and 2 full-sized crisps in less than 2 days.  I feel a bit sick.


The Daily EO: August 16th, 2012

A strange set of circumstances intersected today:

1.  Emile has lost 30 pounds.  Many of his clothes are loose.  Many of mine are as well.
2.  I am anxious, stressed and not sleeping.  When I don’t get enough sleep, I get delirious and unpredictable.
3.  We are packing and consolidating.  Therefore when we found two more-than-half full bottles of Grand Marnier, they were combined leaving about 4 ozs left.  Not enough to pack, too much to toss.  It needed consumption.

While we sat downstairs trying to make decisions about what to keep, sell and toss, we passed the bottle back and forth.  It was about 11:30 am.  As I sorted kitchen things, Emile worked in the other corner of the room going through computer, stereo and electronic items.

I successfully finished off a box and moved it to the completed pile.  As I turned around, my eye caught a round white object glinting at me.  My husband was standing there with a great big moon waiting for me to notice.  Flapping his butt cheeks at me for no reason at all.  His shorts could slip off so easily, you see, and why not moon his wife?  I gawked and giggled.   What the hell?

But back at it – we have things to do.  One was to review what is in the garage – catalogue and do the same sort.  I don’t really remember what I said or did, but Emile threatened me with another moon.  Not one to respond rationally all the time, I threatened him back.  And so we mooned each other.

Emile was not to be out done.  “I’m going to moon the next car that comes by”, he says.  What?!

Now remember: No Sleep, Grand Marnier, Stress, easy slip off pants and potential to be outdone by my husband.  We moved to the front of the house, whipped down our pants and hung our butts out in the direction of the street.  And waited.

August 16th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Reports of Nudity in Muskoka are Greatly Exaggerated, I’m sure.   I love this man.


The Daily EO: August 12th, 2012

I was reading a book today and one character said to another character “You follow the rules of William Morris.”  Not knowing who William Morris was nor what his rules were, I read on, hoping the author would educate me.  And she did.  “You have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful nor think to be beautiful.”  William Morris was a designer, writer and artist.  Hmmm, useful and beautiful.

This is particularly relevent to me as Emile and I review our things for another move in a couple of weeks.

Only the useful and beautiful to me.  Can I really say the same of my things?  It’s emotional reviewing your possessions deciding what to keep, sell or donate.   There is the consideration of how you got it – was it a gift?  Or how much you paid for it and how long ago you bought it.  I mean if you purchased it recently and now not finding it “useful” or “beautiful”, it is like admitting you made a mistake and should not have purchased it in the first place.  Who wants to admit a mistake?  If the purchase was recent and the item has much life left, it is worse.  But if it used it, its okay.

I don’t want to let go of things, and I think you’d be surprised at how much we do not have.  Emile and I would not be able to throw a successful garage sale.  We don’t have kids and we tend to quickly remove unneccessary items from our home.  But what happens when you have to cut deeper than useful and beautiful?  What happens if you can only take the doubly useful and very beautiful, regardless of how or when it came to you?

Don’t try to do it all in one day, or you’ll find yourself holding on to things you don’t like, aren’t beautiful, aren’t useful, but you think someone you might have cared about a long time ago gave it to you.

August 12th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   When you haven’t looked at your stuff in almost a year, it’s much easier to imagine yourself living without it.

The Daily EO: June 25th, 2012

It’s moving time again.  I’m no stranger to it – in fact, I am very good at moving.  I’m organized, well packed and pretty good about not holding to things I no longer want or use.  My furniture is a bit weathered and carries the scars of moving people not caring about my stuff as much as I do.  They try, but if you stuff a truck full, something is bound to get scuffed.  We need to move by the end of August, and I already have half the house packed, and the packing supplies required to do the second half.

There is a plan for the cat; a system for labeling, packing and unpacking; storage units selected; and plans to review clothes, possessions and furniture for weeding out.

Yeah.  I am really good at moving.  How did I get this way?  Well, a review of my mailing addresses in my first 38 years may help to explain:

Mom’s House, Cranbrook, BC (19 years)
University of Victory Residence (8 months)
Mom’s House, Cranbrook, BC (4 months)
Condo with roommate, Victoria, BC (1 Year)
Townhouse with roommates, Victoria, BC (1 year)
McMaster University Residence, Hamilton, Ontario (4 months)
Brampton, Ontario (4 months)
Hamilton, Ontario (4 months)
Mississauga, Ontario (4 months)
Hamilton, Ontario (4 months)
Toronto, Ontario (4 months)
Hamilton, Ontario (4 months)
First apartment alone, Toronto, Ontario (3 years)
Toronto, Ontario (2 years)
Comfort Inn, Huntsville, Ontario (2 months)
Grandview Resort, Huntsville, Ontario (2 weeks)
First Owned Home, Huntsville, Ontario (5 years)
Furnished Apartment, Penetanguishine, Ontario (2 months)
Midland, Ontario (18 months)
Grandview Resort, Huntsville, Ontario (1 month)
Current rental home, Huntsville, Ontario (8 months and counting)
??, ?? (??)

June 25th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  This is ridiculous!