On the Move

It’s all fun and games until a gigantic moving truck shows up at your house, spends all day loading up your belongings and heads out into the sunset.

Huh, I guess we’re actually doing this.

I woke up at 5am on Tuesday morning (the day of the big move) so that I could spend a couple of final quiet hours in my beloved purple office before we left our home forever. I’m going to miss that space. Come 7am, Kevin was up and decided to join me for breakfast on the only chair we had left in the house. Guess who sat on the floor?

Such a gentleman he is.

We decided to stop procrastinating at around 7:30 (1 hour before the movers were scheduled to arrive) and get to packing up the last of our boxes. You know, the cluster boxes. The ones where you’re like ‘just get the darn stuff in the box so we can be done with this’. Packing 147 boxes will do that to a person.

147. Yes, we counted.

I could tell that Lexy and Pebbles knew something was up after everything was packed away. We got the sense that they thought we were leaving without them, or weren’t interested in them anymore. Silly girls, they’re just as much a part of our little family is Kevin and I are! We did our best throughout the day to stay with them to ease their worries.

The house got really busy once the moving crew came in so Kevin, Lexy, Pebbles and I grabbed some music, our two laptops, a couple of water bottles, and headed out onto the back porch to bask in the sun. We were out there from 9am to around 4pm and; although Kevin and I were working most of the time, I couldn’t have picked a better last activity to do in our house together.

We were a bit peckish mid-morning so decided to harvest my garden snack on the 6 carrots I managed to keep alive this Summer.

All in all, it was a happy day filled with sunshine, cuddle time, and memories that will stick with the four of us forever. There was a lot of crying, though. Empty house… made me cry. Truck driving away… made me cry. Planting a penny in the backyard for good luck… made me cry. Driving to my parents house with the dogs… made me cry.

It felt good to let it all out! And now; days later, I can say – I think I’m good now, at least until we get to Montreal!

Thanks to the handy dandy NextGEN gallery plugin I finally downloaded, I can share a bunch of extra photos that Kevin and I took on Tuesday…

[nggallery id=5]

And, just in time for the weekend, this week’s Happy Days Dairies recipe is gluten-free mini tortilla pizzas. They’re homemade mini pizzas made from tortilla cut outs, sun dried tomatoes and roasted fennel. Use shapes like stars, hearts, or circle cookie cutters to create any pizza shape you’d like!

Head on over to Happy Days to check out the goat cheese and fennel vegetarian recipe or for my recipe page for a dairy-free/vegan version.

Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Saturday or Sunday with a recap of the dinner my parents and I made together on Wednesday night, along with 3 new recipes. 3! Ha, I love the good food here.

Ta ta for now!

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  1. Good luck (I’m sure you won’t need it though) with the rest of your journey across the country to your new home! I can imagine how scary it might be, but also exciting!! I am going to be moving in less than a year. It will be the first time I’ve ever lived by myself and it is definintely scary! But I am excited to start a new chapter and explore new things, places, and people! Thanks for sharing this all with us! You, Kevin, Lexy, & Pebbles are in my thoughts :)

    • Thank you Andrea, that means a lot to us! You’re right, it’s scary… but I’m really looking forward to exploring when we get there. Hope you’re having a great weekend :)

  2. Wow that is a huge truck! I can relate to the move but not the distance. I only moved 4 miles to the next town March of 2012. My problem was having to get rid of a lot of “stuff” because i was moving from a 14 x 70 mobile home to a much smaller apartment – ouch! My son and dad kept saying throw it out! You don’t need it! There’s not enough room! I wanted to cry because to me my stuff had value and importance and to them it was just junk – but it was my junk. Well, i’ll be here 6 months Sept. 10 and am still trying to find places for a few unpacked boxes of books i have left. Me and my cat are very happy here though, it’s much brighter and not gloomy like my mobile home was. Anyway, didn’t mean to ramble. I hope you guys and your fur babies and belongings make it to Montreal safe and sound! God bless!

    • Sounds like that transition was really hard for you. Getting rid of things and downsizing has been challenging for us too. I struggled with what to throw away and keep, so many memories! Glad you and your kitty are all settled in now :)

      • It was hard and everything happened very fast which didn’t help. I kind of need to let my brain get used to an idea for a while and this was more like a whirlwind! I’m okay now though and very happy as i’m sure you will be too! How long does it take to get there or maybe you are there already? I hope all goes smoothly take care Leanne!

  3. Good luck on your move. It is never easy to move, but you will love Montreal! We are from there and miss it horribly at times. (We visit at least twice a year, just because!!)

    • It’s a gorgeous city, that’s for sure. Once I get over the fact that I’m going to miss my family terribly, I’m sure I’ll never want to leave!

  4. Hey Leanne,
    Today I have the time to give you some suggestions: one is for movers packing boxes: put all the breakables, art work on the dining room table as the most experienced packer packs that stuff, and are the most experienced, so your belongings will arrive unbroken. Believe me, I learned the hard way. Another suggestion: if a packer shows unusual interest in your possessions watch to be sure those items end up in the truck! Always have one person watching to see that every box gets written on the movers’ inventory and put into the truck. (You don’t want to hear the full story behind this one.) And oh dear this suggestion: Make sure there are two of you dealing with the movers (yeah, one of them kept hitting on me) and NEVER let them get the impression that your significant other isn’t going to be with you at any minute (Really hitting on me–and believe me this has nothing to do with a woman’s looks–I’m plain, not a hot babe). You can be honest with the truck driver as he’s the one who owns the truck; the people who pack/do the heavy lifting are locals and hired for one job at a time–so have little to lose if they choose to be inappropriate. And you know the Murphy’s Law of men behaving badly: if only 3% of the women they hit on accept their proposals, they’re 3% ahead of doing nothing.

    When your goods arrive, make sure you have someone with you to keep you company while you check off boxes on the inventory list. And check each and every box. Once you sign off on the list, you have no recourse should you not find a box. Sometimes the locals who do the heavy lifting can’t read (hey, I taught English so I’m aware of the poor reading skills of a portion of the population and how shaming it is to admit to being illiterate), so even if you’ve marked boxes with room names, they just carry and dump wherever. They are not bad people, they just do the job as quickly as possible. If you didn’t check off a box, tell them they have to find it. One time a mover went to my husband saying “Hey man, your wife is really something.” suggesting that I was hell on wheels. His response: “Yeah, all I have to do is sic her on ’em to get what I want.”

    But here are the most important suggestions for you and the movers: always provide snacks and beverages for that crew working up a sweat. Thank them graciously for delivering your belongings so carefully.

    Now back to you: unless you are really comfortable sitting on the floor with no backrest other than a wall, stay in a hotel until your furniture is delivered, unless you find the camping equipment first. When you arrive at the new house, take your dogs for a walk (on lead) around the neighborhood so they can learn a bit about the place. One time one of our dogs went walkabout without our noticing until the next door neighbor showed up to ask if the dog that came to their house belonged to us. Just because our little darling stayed put at the previous home doesn’t mean that she regarded this new place as “home,” as everywhere smelled strange.

    Remember that unpacking can be emotional. At one move, where the kitchen was 30% the size of my previous one, I’d unpack a box onto the kitchen table. Look at the already full cupboards. Cry for a moment. Wipe my eyes. Find places for the stuff on the table. Repeat. Honest. I ended up loving that little weird kitchen with the cupboard not deep enough to hold a plate, two feet of counter space, and three doorways. Oh, and the oven whose malfunctioning I proved by making a full page document listing temperature set, time of day, temperature recorded in oven. The military’s repairman just testing the oven after 15 minutes. I could prove to him that over a full day, following an initial 45 minutes preheat with the oven set at 200F degrees, and thereafter at 15 minute intervals and 25F degree setting changes, the oven heated to 180F degrees until set at 350 at which point the oven heated to 500F degrees. Then they installed a new stove. Neighbors told me the previous tenant had complained about the oven, and been told it was just fine. Thank God for a little bit of knowledge of scientific method: record data, draw conclusions. And that really shallow cupboard was terrific for packaged goods as I could see everything without digging into the back!

    Give yourself time to get comfortable in your new home: the house, the neighborhood, the town. Take a drive each day to find something new. I know you did a great recon of the place when you looked for your new home, but that doesn’t mean that you found everything important to you. It takes time. Also, unpacking is like any other task: there is no single set period of time for all people to accomplish the task. I know of people who took months to unpack, and I knew one woman who did it all in 2 weeks while enrolling her kids in school, working full time, etc. You have to do the task at your pace. BTW, I didn’t know that 2 week woman well enough to have seen her house, I just heard her talk about it. She scared me!

    I learned these things from military wives who gave me the benefit of their experience. The only thing I came up with on my own was this: if you move just a few miles, load portable goods into double bagged groceries sacks. Load car. Drive to new place. You and husband unload first bags. Then wife unpacks into new home’s locations while husband brings in another pair of bags. When all bags are unpacked, drive back to old home, and repeat. Use movers only for things too heavy for the two of you to comfortably carry. Boxes are too hard to carry. The smallest boxes, while not too heavy, have corners that dig into your arms and body, and are hard to fit into the car. Grocery bags are easy-peasy.

    Enjoy the adventure!

    • Dang, I’m forgetful! By the 4th move (of 10) I’d learned that the movers will note all blemishes on your furniture, so I took a photo each time a mark was made on the inventory so the scratch he recorded could not later be blamed for the gouge found on that piece of furniture at the new house. I also made a really complete inventory of all our possessions (yeah, I wasn’t working, was bored out of my gourd, and this was way before video-recording cell phones existed) and showed it to the movers. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING arrived at the next house. it’s not unusual for a few things to go missing if your possessions are put into storage before being delivered to your new home, and the going rate rate per pound for lost items probably will shock you: google search indicates $0.60 per pound per item. When the glass shelves from a china cupboard were packed with their tiny metal holders and all placed into a box without sufficient padding, the shelves all broke. I would have gotten less than $5 if I’d put in a claim. A box of books went missing once. Think of how much cookbooks cost. And if one of of the movers says he’s going to put your electronic device into his car because the truck is full, insist that it be securely boxed, and put into a truck even if they have to call for another truck. Really, this occurred long enough ago that it was a stereo (remember those?) that nearly ended up in a car behind the truck. These locally hired men may simply wait at a spot where day laborers are hired, they may have no secure employment or health insurance. They may regard you as wealthy, and feel that you won’t really miss what they are able to take. Respect them and don’t put temptation in their way. Find things to compliment each of them on–but make sure you don’t imply that you are hitting on them! I always talked about my husband a lot. About how happy he was going to be to see how carefully that huge box had been placed, etc. About how much I wanted to be able to do before he came home, so if they could stack boxes only 2 high, it’d help. If my husband was there while the unpacking was done, and he was being the poor hen-pecked husband (Ha!), he gave them a tip sufficient to buy them all an inexpensive dinner. If he wasn’t there, I gave the tip to the driver when all the men could hear. It helps to have lots of $5 bills so you can count them out to the driver (he’s the boss, remember?)

      I’ll try to make this my final tip: have a stash of $1 bills because if there is a national emergency and the local store is selling single rolls of toilet paper at a dollar each, but you only have a $10 bill, they might not take the time to give you change. And you know that you’ll pay whatever you need for that toilet paper.

      • Wow, thanks for taking all that time to share your experiences, Sue! I’ll definitely keep all of that in mind. The movers were really, really careful with our things and (thank goodness) Kevin took pictures of practically everything, we had a whole inventory process going on… I’m crossing my fingers and toes that everything will work out beautifully!

        • That Kevin of yours is a PEACH. Sounds like his inventory is the best ever. So much better than the one I made handwritten on paper with Polaroid photos. Have a great move!

  5. Congrats on the move! It’s so hard when everything is packed and you see your place empty, huh? We’re moving at the end of September and I am definitely not looking forward to that feeling… :) I’m so excited for you guys. Even though it’s a hard transition it definitely sounds like you’re doing it for the right reasons.

    • Yes, that feeling is all too familiar. I was lonely and empty but free at the very same time. So strange. Where are you guys moving to?

      • We aren’t doing an extreme move like you guys. :) We’re still going to be in Seattle, just in a neighborhood across the city. It still feels like a big adjustment for us!

        • I think any type of moving is extreme. You still have to pack as much, change your address with a bunch of companies, etc. That sounds exciting! Sometimes the best moves are just down the street. We used to do that a lot when we were kids – move from neighborhood to neighborhood. I was always amazed at what a difference a couple of blocks made.