Monday, October 31, 2005

The Ghoulish and the Ghastly

I think Halloween is one of the wierdest events of our culture. You go around to total strangers, dressed in outlandish clothes and demand candy. And they GIVE IT TO YOU!

What's weirder is- I'm kind of enjoying this. This is the first time I've really been in a position of a grown-up handing out candy. It's rather odd.

I have had so many people come...I have lost count. Among the memorable costumes were a flock of princesses, a very cool home-made robot, Darth Vader, the Grim Reaper ( I think he was crossed with Frankinstein because he had bolts sticking out of his head- the goriest yet tonight), Bob the Builder, a camoflage ninja, a glow in the dark skeleton ( it was rather thrillingly creepy to see him descend my front lawn in all his green bony glory), and the last ones who were just here were a bunch of hoodlums that were WAY too old to be doing this- they looked like they could be college age! I kept looking around to see where their children were-- but it was just them. What a crock. They did have a semblance of costumes...But really! For shame!

And guess what! Tonight we got a call from the movers and found out that our stuff is coming on Thursday morning! Yay! I can't wait! Penny and Nate's stuff came today. Hurray! Hurray for stuff! Hurray for not sitting on folding chairs and sleeping on air mattresses anymore! ( Brad just got back from going and visiting Nate and Penny - just so he could sit on real furniture for a while. And to enjoy their charming company, too, of course.)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

If this doesn't gross you out, nothing will.

We went furniture shopping this last week and as we tested out a mattress, I noticed a placard/sign/ad thing posted on the opposite wall with a few horrendous statistics listed thereon...such as: The average person sweats FOUR GALLONS a month as they sleep. Now that's just disgusting. Also, the weight of a mattress will double in ten years because of all the dead mites inside. Apparently, these facts were supposed to sicken you to the point of buying an outrageously priced HEALTHY mattress...I guess you could take off the top part and wash it...? caused me to think... So in twenty years, the weight of the mattress will triple? In thirty, it will quadruple? Will there ever come a time when it becomes so heavy, it cannot be moved, because it is so full of dead mites?

I have one word for you: Ew.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Home is Where the Stuff Is

Greetings, my neglected readers. I apologize for the lack of news here...but we've had a time and a half of trying to get online. We still don't have our phone hooked up ( GRRR, Bell South! They said it would be hooked up yesterday but when Brad called our new number from his cell phone yesterday, some man answered and said he'd had this number for eight years! The nerve! Of the man! And Ma Bell!) and I am only able to write to you via a pirated connection. Ooo! Don't tell! We've found a couple hot spots in corners of our if you stand on your head and contort yourself, you can get online! Not really. But almost.

I feel cut off from any sense of normalcy. Our stuff has not arrived and probably won't arrive until NEXT FRIDAY- A WEEK FROM TODAY! Well, I guess that's why we got such a good price. Huh. You'll never see your stuff again, but you won't have to pay very much! Whaaa? So we are bouncing around in this house feeling sort of weirded out by all the empty space...or rather, I am bouncing around in this house...feeling sort of lonely...for Brad has just left for his first day of work. Well, I'm not too lonely because Nate and Penny are here for the next couple days, until they can move into their house. But before they arrived on Wednesday night, and when Brad was out, and I was here, I was a little spooked by being all alone here with not much to do. We've done some shopping and driving around, trying to get to know the area. It's been fun, but I am ready to get established with some sort of routine...and it doesn't look like that is going to be happening anytime soon...WELL...I'm off to seek my fortune out in the great, wide world. Or, to be more specific, I'm going to try to find the local library. Huzzah for Mapquest!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"In Transition" and "Cuggy is All the Rage."

WELL...Seeing as how we have just been through a pretty strenuous week ( well- MONTH, really) and are headed into a similarly tumultuous week, we decided that we should relax a bit on the way down to our new world. So...we are staying today at the same hotel in southern Virginia that we stayed at about two weeks ago on our first trip to GA.

Backtracking here...Many thanks to Nate and Amy who helped Brad move our stuff out of storage- some stuff to the dump and the rest over to our apartment on Wednesday afternoon. It went WAY faster than if it had just been Brad working alone.

The movers came about 9:00 a.m. on Thursday and took about three hours to load up all our stuff onto the truck. Remember the post I wrote about the piles of change that Brad leaves around the house? Well, as boxes and furniture slowly left the house, and more of the floor was revealed, a strange pattern came to light: dustbunnies and coinage. One of the movers was like, " What's the deal with all the change?" At first I thought he was referring to our change of location to Georgia...but then I realized he was talking about all the coins on the floor. I was like, " I wish I knew." I also wish I had counted up all the money I picked up off the floor...I stuffed it all in my vest pockets. Just call me MoneyBags. It would do no good to count it now- I have already spent half of it on candy bars in the vending machine down the hall. Argh. Now I know why we don't have a vending machine in our house!

After cleaning up the empty apartment, crying as I said goodbye to it, and packing the car so that there was NOT ONE SQUARE INCH UNUSED...we flew over to Fairwood, did some errands, and went to visit Grandma Sweet, who showered us with...sweets. Wow. If you need a chocolate fix, she is the woman to visit.

Then we drove 'til we could drive no more- in other words- to Connecticut- and finally stopped for the night. ( I gave a shout out to you, Craig, as we drove through Hartford.) And then we got up the next day and drove some more. And now we are here in Virginia, relaxing and taking today off.

Nate and Christy used to have this nickname for their aunt Caroline: Cuggy. Well, for that matter, I guess it's still her nickname. I don't know how Brad first heard about it, but ever since, it's been Cuggy this and Cuggy that. (Kind of like how I used to say Scooby Do all the time for everything. ) Sometimes it drives me crazy- sometimes it's rather cute. Sometimes it is a term of endearment. I don't know what he would do if he couldn't say it anymore. I think he thinks it's just fun to say. I think he wants to name our first born Cuggy. Are you weirded out yet?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Mysterious Pockets of Rice and Other Tales from Packing

Okay- I need a break from packing. The movers arrive Thursday morning and we are well on our way to being completely done. At this point, it's mostly odds and ends left here AND all the stuff in storage over at Fairwood- but that will be dealt with tomorrow. Dear Cousin KJ came over yesterday and helped me for several hours packing up my kitchen. BLESS HER HEART! It was such a huge psychological boost.

We are discovering treasures left and right that we had forgotten we had. Brad just played a tape he had recorded of himself when he was around eight years old. He SINGS Christmas songs! Unaccompanied! "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was a HOOT. At one point, he went from eight maids a milking ( or whatever the thing for eight is) to five golden rings! Ooops. And he and Penny narrated their every move of a game of Uno. " I'm laying down a yellow eight." " And I'M laying down a green eight!" Oh my. So between that, and Rush Limbaugh, and FOX News about the terrorist thing in Baltimore, and the Taunton Dam about to burst, we are well entertained as we pack.

In other news, we are finding strange deposits of rice in oft-unused drawers. It's very spooky. There aren't any sort of droppings or anything...just these massive stashes of rice. It's SO annoying. You pull out some shirts to fold and put in a box and suddenly there's a huge cascade of white rice all over your feet. ARGH. There is rice all over the bedroom floor now and it's actually hazardous. I almost wiped out in there.

What kind of animal would leave deposits of rice and no deposits of waste? ( Mind you, we're not complaining about the lack of waste...Brad says it's just kind of like a pointless miracle.) Could it be Herr Vole? Do voles differ from mice very much in such habits? So...Isaac? Some other smart person? Some VOLE whisperer? What is your take? In any case, some small creature is going to receive a nasty shock when they come to seek out their winter provender...and find a big, fat, lot of NOTHING.

And the weird thing is, we haven't noticed any of our rice missing! It's like it's being trucked in from other regions. Hmmm. I should check with our landlord. Maybe they are experiencing rice shortages upstairs. We're DEFINITELY going to clean it all up before we the landlord can't come down and be like, " So! THAT'S where all our rice went!"

I ramble here... in fact, I'm rambling on purpose...I am procrastinating going back to packing. ARRGH. Must...keep...packing...all...worldly...goods.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Boring, gloomy update only worth reading if you want the bland, bare facts

Ooog. Where should I begin?

We flew to Providence on Thursday and spent the night at the Brown Compound. Friday morning, Nate and Penny drove us to New Hampshire...On the way, we got a phone call or two and since the cell phone coverage was patchy, we pulled off the highway and parked in a Burger King parking lot in the depressing city of Leominster, MA to conduct our business. Then we decided that while we were there, we should run in and use the bathroom. When we came out, the Explorer wouldn't start. It was raining and cold. We were stressed and exhausted. ( Over the last couple days, the issue of whether we were actually going to go through with buying this house was up in the air. I won't describe all the boring details and reasons but it has been an emotional rollercoaster of agonizing magnitude.) ( But, as far as we know right now, we ARE buying the house.) Fortunately, some kind angels- disguised as grundgy electricians- helped by letting us jumpstart the vehicle and we were on our way.

We stopped at Fairwood to assess the "Stuff in Storage" situation and lo, the Explorer failed to start again. This time, there was a real, non-grundgy angel who helped us out- Gerry Anderson. It was determined that the alternator was gonzo and he took us to town to pick one up...Then he drove us to our apartment ( HOME AT LAST!). In spite of the flooded areas all around us, ( we had to take a detour to get home) our house still stands. While I scavenged materials to start a fire- it was COLD- the others found a shocking sight in the kitchen. Apparently, another mouse had succumbed to our trap. I guess it was pretty gruesome; I'll never know because Brad got rid of it pretty fast. Then the guys left to go back to Fairwood and install the alternator while Penny and I relaxed at home. We all ended up going out to eat for dinner- since we had NOTHING to eat at our house and I had no car to go grocery shopping with ( it's in Georgia!). Diane joined us and we had a great time. When we left, we found that Brad's car, the Mazda, wouldn't start. OH MY WORD. WHAT NEXT? We called Nate and Penny on our cell phone and fortunately, they hadn't left yet, so they came and charged us up...Good grief.

It is incredibly nice to sleep in our own bed again. It's so good to be home in spite of the crazed mess it's in.

Now we are recovering from our travels, gearing up to pack, and I am trying not to get frazzled by the messy apartment or overwhelmed by all that must be done. If I don't happen to see you or say goodbye to you before we leave, please don't be offended. You can come see me here at the apartment as we pack...because since I have no car to drive ( it's been years since I've driven a standard and I don't dare practice on Brad's car) I won't be getting out much in the next week...nor will I have much time to...

More Pics of Our House

Greetings, folks. This is Brad, by the way.

Well, we're back in New Hampshire to finish packing. The movers are coming on Thursday morning, so we have to have every thing boxed up. We started before we left, so it shouldn't be terrible. Our house closes on the 24th, so we need to be back down there by then.

We flew back up with Nate and Penny on Thursday, and they drove us up from Rhode Island on Friday. It was a great asset to have them go through this process along with us. I have heard that buying a home can be one of the more stressful events in life, and I think I agree.

Here is a link to a virtual tour of the house. I don't know how much longer it will be there, but it offers a pretty thorough tour of the house.

Here are a couple of pictures just in case the virtual tour disappears:

A view from the back:
The kitchen, which we plan to update:

The "great" room:

Thanks for everybody's support and prayers through the whole process. We felt God's help right from the start.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Home Sweet Home????

Well, we made an offer on this house... and to make a long story short, both parties have agreed to a very acceptable figure...and barring some hidden monstrosity showing up on the inspection, this house will most likely be ours later this month. Whoa. We are over the moon. Thanks be to God.

This second picture of us on the doorstep was taken moments after hearing that the house was ours.

We've had our eye on this house for months and then last week I thought it was lost...but it had just changed hands to a different realtor's listing. There are a few things we want to change but nothing that we couldn't live with for a while. It's on a sloping piece of land and there is a creek running at the bottom of the back yard. It's in a well established neighborhood- in other words, there are trees grown up and a general feeling of seclusion from our neighbors, who aren't too close. There are plenty of other exciting details I could mention about the property, as well as the whole Nate and Penny factor ( which I will let Penny tell about on her blog) but I'll leave it at this for now. We are rejoicing in God's faithfulness and abundant provision.

PACK YOUR BAGS TO COME VISIT US SOON! We have room for everyone we know to come visit us simultaneously and witness the majesty of our awesome new firepit in the backyard.
( This last sentence was Brad's contribution.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

In the Land of Promise

Well, we're here. We had a good trip down and we're still speaking to each other. The boys were very silly. In fact, sillier than I have ever seen. The favorite words of the trip were: "figlet" and "firkin." We have decided that if we get a cat, we are going to name it "figlet." And we discovered that a firkin is equivalent to nine gallons. We played madlibs and started memorizing John 14.

We set out yesterday morning to go househunting with our realtor Ray. By the way, Ray is a good old boy to beat ALL good old boys. Oh my WORD. He is the epitome of the Southern guy. So we drove around Henry County in his vehicle. We drove to the two houses that were near each other in Stockbridge first- ones we found on the internet and had our eyes on from afar. We reeeeally liked them. I'll spare you the details...and we are discussing the pros and cons of them right now and it's driving me cah-razy. There were others that had good points but none that were the big home runs that the first two seemed to be.

The 'rents have arrived ( Dave and Pat) and we are eager to show them the houses and get their opinion. We are off to see Ray again this morning and will be visiting the two Stockbridge houses again. The excitement is building!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Father Brad?

Nope, not pregnant.

We opened a new bank account in a different bank last week, in preparation for our move. This morning, Brad went online to set up online banking and got a little surprise. When he opened up his account information, he saw that instead of saying Mr. Bradley H. Pass, it said, " Bishop Bradley H. Pass." Apparently, the woman who entered the information had clicked on the wrong thing. Huh. It was pretty funny. So Brad called up the bank and spoke with this woman. She apologized profusely and said she would set it right.

Later on, she called back on the brink of tears, and said that, unfortunately, she had not corrected it in time and that we are going to be getting checks and a debit card with the name "Bishop Bradley Pass." YESSSSS!!! That is SO cool. Maybe we can get a little collar and go out on the town and get discounts.

You know, I always KNEW I would be married to a clergyman someday.

For those of you who were expecting a more serious post today, well, it's not to be. Perhaps in the future...But I do thank you all for all the support and prayers, and cards. They have certainly upheld us through this season of remembrance and reflection. It's been a beautiful day. Things are looking up. There are good things happening, and more good to come.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Idiots and The Dummies

We're getting pretty excited as the day draws closer to drive down to Georgia with Nate and Penny. I bought snacks the other day...and started cleaning out the car. Heh- key word: started. We're going to have to pack wickedly light because the trunk is hobbit sized.

By the way, yesterday was Brad's last day at the Ritz in Keene. Pretty weird. He's worked there since before we got married...Some faithful customers came in to bid him farewell and were sad to see him go. Of course!

Today, we were talking about the upcoming venture with Nate and Pen; a while back, they bought a book called "Homebuying for Idiots." Brad bought a book called, " Homebuying for Dummies." Georgia, watch out! Here we come: the Idiots and the Dummies!