farewell 2011

1 01 2012

You were a funny kind of year – exhausting in so very many ways, yet sprinkled with some wonderful grace notes – and I am relieved to see the end of you.

An interesting year lies ahead. We can expect regular blog posts again. We’ve lots to share & to celebrate. Tomorrow we’ll check-in briefly – we’re still traveling home across 8 states.

Right now I have a hotel bed to crash into, a tired three-year old who’s eager for his good-night story, and a new list to finish for another Year of Lovely Things.

For my Lovely friends from previous years, sorry for the holiday delays, sign-ups will go live Jan 2.

Wishing you all joy and well-being in the new year. See you again in 2012.


moving: just a few things

21 09 2011

Yeek! It’s Moving Day tomorrow (um, day one of 3 and hopefully 4).

packing with toddler

We’re heading down to temporary housing for a few months. Mr. P was campaigning for making do with an air mattress for 3 months, but I’ve persuaded him that putting the bed in storage would endanger our domestic tranquility. And the yarn stash + sewing machine + craft supplies + baking supplies + kitchen aid mixer. And something to sit on. So a moving truck it is (that’s day two).

Maybe there’ll be a house in our future this fall/winter, fingers crossed.

little earthquakes

23 08 2011

It started with a crash, boom, shaking. My first (and irrational) thought was that the upstairs neighbor was madly pounding on the floor with a sledge hammer. Then of course I realized it was (however unlikely) an earthquake.

We’ve just had a medium-ish earthquake here in VA. We’re all fine, more surprised than anything else, only some dishes knocked into the sink and a few things knocked off the walls. Bebe calls it, “Boom! Shake!” (with arms thrown up in the air and eyebrows high).

Growing up in various places, I went through school earthquake drills and a few earthquakes. And lots of small shakes while I was working in Japan. So I grabbed Bebe, tucked us into a doorway, and waited for everything to stop. It took a while.

USGS are saying it was a 5.9 earthquake centered in Mineral,VA (by Lake Anna, Louisa county). Aftershocks are expected within the next hour. Broke the area record for a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in 1897.

Regarding the nuclear plant in nearby Lake Anna, VA, reports are saying that it was not affected and has been shut down.

The Pentagon & US Capitol building in DC have been evacuated. Apparently it’s been felt as far away as SC, Boston, NYC and Philly.

Crazy way to break up our lunch, and (sigh) has guaranteed Bebe won’t be napping today.

delightful things

12 08 2011

Savoring a few photo-less moments, as we wrapped up our home hunting trip and took a brief break by the sea:

swimming laps in the twilight just before dawn, and watching the sun rise in a blaze of rose and gold over the ocean;

sipping coffee with Mr P at a beachside cafe while Bebe happily devours scrambled eggs & a cut-up pile of small pancakes;

wading past the surf zone on a hot day and drifting in calm ocean swells;

building and rebuilding small sand castles around Bebe, who gleefully destroys them and then immediately throws his hands up in shock and pretends to be surprised by the destruction, dramatically howling, “Oh nooo! What happened? The sand castles are broken! What am I gonna do??”;

finding a couple absolutely lovely skeins of Madelinetosh DK at a local yarn shop;

watching evening fireworks with Mr P;

and heading home (current home) again.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

adventures in home hunting

10 08 2011

Returning to our room every night after 8pm, I’ve had to renege on my previous claim of daily updates. Bebe’s done most of his napping in the car, which works out since the hotel room has been too different from home for him to really settle and sleep.

We’ve interspersed our daily home hunting with big and small adventures: a community barbecue, a beach day, an impromptu dash to the Outer Banks and back. And a change of hotels, since our first place was dirty and increasingly creeptacular – things like neighbors having early morning kitchenette fires; a pit bull (?!) bursting out of a room as Bebe & Mr P walked by, etc.

Which reminds me, did I mention the wandering pit bull we encountered at a house visit? Yep, we saw the large empty dog crate and then looked up to see the large dog. Eeeep! Immediate Scene Exit by the Family Perches + Realtor. Followed by leaping out the secondary front door, closing Bebe into the car, and then finagling some dog distraction so that we could re-open the door, close the main one, and then close the glass door.

In a sitcom, this would be scary-funny. In person, my Bebe was way too close to a seemingly-mild yet totally untethered guard dog in its own territory. Our realtor burned up the cell phone chastising whoever was representing that house. Bad selling agent, bad! And “No, they do NOT want to come back for another look later. No, not ever.”

Carry on, home hunters…

to market, to market

4 08 2011

To find a first house:

1. Make sure toddler has adequate entertainment, snacks, and naptime. Even so, be prepared for mini meltdowns.

2. Find a realtor whose awesomeness entails: being prompt and highly competent at her job; sustaining graceful patience with our active and often screechy toddler (and humorously swapping anecdotes as a fellow mom-of-toddler); pointing out all of the good eateries, specialty markets, and family resources in our search areas.

3. Encroach on toddler’s naptime at your peril. Seriously.

Bebe’s decided that looking at houses is Fun. Especially that big, empty rooms are fun to dash through (back and forth and back again) and fill with loud, happy echoes.

The challenges come when visiting a home still occupied by the owner’s large and/or small dogs; new (because they’re someone else’s) toys; remote controls, water glasses, etc – all of which Must Not Be Disturbed. Confusing boundaries for our wee young human to understand and accept.

Mr. P met Bebe’s occasional eruptions of Shrieking Protest with his usual humor and grace. I handed out abashed apologies like a tissue vendor on a Tokyo street corner (i.e. constantly and accompanied by head-bobbing Excuse Me’s and Thank You’s). Our realtor demonstrated her awesome-ness.

For tomorrow, Bebe says, “Yahhh: let’s go More Houses now please! And apples!” Immediately followed by the contrary, “No, I don’t like go see houses anymore. Or apples. Where’s my blanket?”

Ah, life with a two-year-old.

dusting off

3 08 2011

It’s official: the Perches family is moving again. This time we’re pulling up roots and heading south, to a place with less snow, more beach, and the ever-fun possibilities implicit in new employment, neighborhoods, and future friends.

We’re still in the early stages: pulling piles of packing boxes out of storage; browsing through housing; sorting household things through keep/donate/sell/giveaway. Exploring. Generally dusting off the habits of transitions.

I hope our next place has enough room to install our library, most of which has been in storage for the past three moves. And a proper workshop for powertools. And room for a vegetable garden, fruit trees, bees and bunnies and chickens…or at least a little bit of green space. Hmmm: another habit we’re dusting off is the Perfect House Dreaming. You know, the Someday Home, of which we usually have to accept precious bits and pieces instead of the dreamy whole.

What kind of things make up your Someday Home?

This week we’ll post a daily update from our tours through new towns and beachy activities.

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