“As the Shade Spins Some More Still”

As we get ready to join our already-in-progress play of numb-nuts and dumb-bells. I invite you to refill your bowls.  There’s a surprisingly large quantity left (what? you don’t like it?) so I’ve kept it warming on the stove. It may be a tad thicker than it should be, but you could always add a drop or two of that Canadian almost beer…the little dirt eaters could probably use it.  And please, let me know if you are in a part of the world where the sun is just rising, I can fry up an egg to top your stew…I believe I can retrieve one or two from the face of our leading man…the driver.

We’ll pick up with our little ensemble right where we left them…in the freezing dark…at the end of day one. To refresh your mind, and get you in the mood, here is where we stand:

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

And now we return to…As the Shade Spins, Part II

Before the crew left that first night, we tried to find out where they were staying the night and what the plan was for the following day.  Not as easy as one would imagine…owing to the fact that the driver’s particular Haitian dialect was out of our scope and our particular English one was gibberish to him.  Apparently.

We did manage to conclude this though…he was planning on returning to Massachusetts (260 miles one way) because his cousin (cough…I mean, one of his crew) needed to be home in the morning for something ‘important’.

Now, maybe we are just too finicky, or too demanding, or just too damned too too…but if I were to say to you we were more than a little pissed off to find out our stuff was being schlepped an added 520 miles, for something that has absolutely nothing to do with our job, adding an inordinate amount of unnecessary liability…would we be wrong?  PLUS…would you have believed him when he said not to worry because he’d be back by 8am?  Even if he fervently and repeatedly stated he’d be back by 8am no matter HOW much sleep he got?

No, we didn’t either.

And because we lost almost an entire day the first day, we were then in the position of HAVING to finish (finish? shit…start the bloody job) the packing, loading of the house, packing and loading of our storage unit (no electric there either), cleaning and closing both, and making the 800 mile trip to Virginia in one day and not two because we had to be present for our final walk through on the new house in two days time!

Pissed?  Just a little.

So…day two dawns just as cold as the day before and they were just as late.  Yes, it seems our driver has a ‘waking up’ problem. They managed to roll in somewhere around 11:30am, a mere 3 and a half hours past his feverish and fervently promised 8am.  I won’t bother with the emoticons…you can just imagine!  Nor will I mention the many, rather colorful, telephone conversations with ‘corporate’.  And remember my mentioning in Part I the little detail about daylight being at a premium up there (12 miles from the Canadian border)?  Right.  We now have about 4 hours ’til dark, and I mean DARK, and they’ve only just arrived and the entire job still to do!

No. Fucking. Way.  KISS MY ASS AND CALL ME FRED (Now you know why I dubbed this my 50th Shade – what the hell next?)

Well, I’ll tell you what next…Mayhem!  I couldn’t believe it when I went out to the porch to have a smoke, and saw through the gaping mouth that was the open doors of that truck, what could only be considered CHAOS inside!  It looked like a couple of drunks had gotten in and started throwing things hither and yon looking for another bottle!

U N B E L I E V A B L E!

I had to leave; had to get out before I killed someone.  My husband had been so busy doing their job (dismantling furniture because they had no tools, packing boxes using packing paper they didn’t seem to be using, trying to MARK boxes they had packed because they didn’t realize they had to) and I was trying to keep an eye on how things were being wrapped, etc…that we’d not had a chance to see what was going on until then.

Other than telling them to stop, unload the truck, and get the hell out, there was nothing to be done in the time we had left.  So, I had to leave.  I drove down to the house periodically to check on my husband, who was working harder than all three of the others, and each time it became more and more evident that my husband had been right…there was NO way this truck was big enough. Especially with the way it was being packed, if you can even call it that.  Not for what was in the house and certainly not what was in storage.

O. M. G.  Kill me now!

(I’m so sure you all need a potty break by now, or perhaps more stew?  But let’s see if we can at least get out of Vermont before we have a commercial. Trust me though, I need one too!)

We end the day at 10:30pm, in the pitch black, bitterly cold, frozen north…steaming mad.  When all was said and done this day, in addition to the truck, we now have our two cars, my father’s pick-up truck filled to bursting (where to put our luggage? yeah, like that) (how the hell are two people going to drive three vehicles?  yeah, like that) and STILL, items tucked in his barn that won’t fit into either of those three additional transports.

The parting of the driver, crew, and truck wasn’t without a sigh of relief all the same.  They even left us a present.  Yes ladies and gents, never let it be said that these folks don’t respect their customers.  No sir.  They lavished us with two plastic carry bags full of garbage, three empty work boot boxes, a broken Styrofoam cooler, and a sundry of packing material trash…strewn carefully and cleverly in the middle of our driveway!  And as an encore, they even managed to hit the retaining wall on the way out, knocking the railroad ties flat.  Yes indeed…consummate professionals right to the bitter end!

After a few hours of what is sure to be nightmare filled sleep…we hit the road in the morning.  It can’t get much worse, so we’ll see what happens on the other end next time on…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

How about a tease for what’s to come?  Okay…have a look-see below…oh boy!

THIS IS MY LIFE! Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes? Together? Unprotected in the same box? (yeah, like that)

THIS IS MY LIFE!
Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes?
Together?
Unprotected in the same box?
(yeah, like that)

(God, I need a drink! I’m just writing it, it already happened, and it’s only 10am…but I NEED it!)

“As the Shade Spins Some More”

Grab a bowl of warm can o’ worm stew off the stove, and please make sure you only take what you can eat…there is plenty, but we want everyone to get their fair share.  Yum!  Oh, and there’s some (Canadian) almost-beer in the cooler to choke it down with. (You’re welcome NB) Then pull up your favorite soap-opera-watching-tv-chair ’cause we’re ready to go.

As we return to our saga…we are about to enter the Final Act, which, you’ll recall, has been referred to as the “then shit REALLY got interesting” act. This is an act of more than one part…so we’ll begin with part I:

After months of searching and a dozen or more unanswered emails and phone calls, as well as the same amount saying they’d love to help but they don’t service our area, I finally found a moving company to pack us, load us, and deliver us from evil….I mean from the north.

I did my due diligence, checked BBB (a couple of issues, but nothing unresolved), checked previous client testimonials (no red flags there), did a background check on the owner, who seemed a long-standing professional in her field. Though I’d never heard of them, they were a national mover, based in Florida, but serviced more than their fair share of relocations from the northeast.

Cool.  And.  Phew.

I mean, we were right down to the wire and I was so thrilled to have the worst of the moving process settled..someone to pack the stuff, load the stuff, and deliver the stuff.  Not cheap, but not out of line with the current industry rates either.

Happy      😆

Moving day is here!  YAY

Zero degrees outside and I know once they are here the heat will go off because the door will be open, but so what?  I am so excited it’s finally happening that I don’t care.  Coats, scarves, gloves inside?  Psshaw…nothing to it.

I’d spent the previous two days making sure all was ready for them.  Nothing on the walls, soft goods tucked neatly in drawers, like items all in one place, kitchen gadgets and little bits placed in baggies for easy packing, all important papers and cables, etc. boxed and in my car, bottled water aplenty, toilet paper left on the holder for those special moments…what more could I ask for.  I was breathing easy and actually looking forward to the crew’s arrival…

Promptly at 9am

No – slightly late at 11am

Whoops – damned late at 1:30pm

Shit – you’re so damned late why bother showing up at all friggin’ late at 2:30pm. (And they show up in a truck too small by half and already half full!)

Says the husband:

“No fucking way will our stuff fit in THAT!”

Says the wife:

“Now, now Dear (teehee, not really), let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.  You know how movers are…they can fit 50 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  It’s an art!”

Says the diver: (at least this is what we think he said)

“Slept late, so sorry.  Phone didn’t work, please excuse.  Needed to stop and buy work boots, so glad we passed a Wal-Mart on the way here.”

Husband  😡

Wife  🙄

Driver  😯

Uh Huh.  Okay then, daylight’s at a premium up here in the Northeast Kingdom this time of year, so they best get cracking if anything was to be done with what was left of the day (which, as it turned out for them, was about 4 hours, the last 3 of which were in the dark!  More on this in Part II).

Time to get rolling on the process, the paperwork, and to get the crew working on bringing in boxes and packing material.

We get the process explanation (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get the paperwork and the explanation of that (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get frustrated with the back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, due to a language/communication problem (sorta); still no sign of the crew.

Husband  👿

Wife  😕

Driver  😯

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, seems the driver had told his two-man-crew to stay put while he got the paperwork done (one hour and one translator later).  We are now at 3 dark thirty, which is fine for packing inside, but shit for loading a truck with overhead lights blocked by the previously loaded job.  By damn-ass-dark thirty, an hour later still, all that had been accomplished was bringing boxes and ‘some’ packing material inside rendering what little floor space left, utterly useless.

Hmmm, where to find room to tape these boxes together.  Hmmm, I know, let’s not worry about that now.  Let’s start wrapping some furniture and taking it out to the truck.  Yes…let’s do that.  Let’s fill the nooks and crannies usually filled in nicely with boxes with MY FURNITURE instead because you can’t get to your job on time, can’t get your crew working without your paperwork being done, you can’t speak English, and can’t get your head out of your ass long enough to see it’s FUCKING PITCH BLACK OUT THERE!

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

More in part II…I’ll save some stew  🙂

On The Road Again

It’s official…we’re on the road again.

Tradin’ in

‘Ya can’t get theyah from heeyah’ 

for

‘Ya’ll come back now, y’hear?’

The Green Mountains of Vermont, the land of my birth…to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Before the snow flies and on the wings of the snow birds, we’ll be gone.

Naturally, this meant another foray into the wild green yonder of this place I love, to capture as much of her as I can before heading out.

A week from now we’ll be ‘down there’, looking for a home.

If we are successful, in 3 weeks time, I’ll be an Old Dame in The Old Dominion and the other half will be, ummm, well?

Old

I invite you to share my last Vermont Drive By of the Season and look forward to sharing my new home with you

(as soon as I find one)

R

Drive By Shooting ~ Vermont Style

As the end of fall approaches, I decided to grab the hubby as my driver (the only time I give up the wheel is when there’s a camera in my hand, and then, not always) so I could do one last Drive By Shooting…

From my home in the Northeast Kingdom to the metropolis (that’s the ‘big city’ for some of you) of Burlington, I took these on the fly.

I could have had him stop so I could compose, and I could have doctored them once I got home…

But these are raw and real and that’s just the way I like my drive bys…

I do hope you enjoy my the last hurrah before the snow flies.

🙂

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A Day Out with Superman and Lois – Part II

For some New England states, the lack of development makes for an inconvenient truth…there is a high price for beauty. Of all the states that make up New England, Vermont pays a higher price for its pristine vistas and unspoiled landscapes, than do the others. That’s not a scientific fact, but as one who has lived and/or worked in all of them, I feel confident in my opinion.

Seasonal tourism has become the bread and butter of a state (formerly?) known as The Dairy State. However, that said, it’s still not enough to make up for what this state has lost, what it once was, and still pay for what this state now is…an entitlement state with a tax bill to prove it.

You couldn’t drive a mile without passing a flourishing dairy farm; their rich pastures dotted with the familiar black and white of the Holstein, just to name one of the breeds that carved cow paths through much of the landscape of its history.

Nearly every generation of my family, leading up to but excluding mine, was raised or worked on, a family dairy farm.

The sights we see today, or in our case, the sights Supe and I captured yesterday, are now the norm.

Neglect may come to mind…but it goes much deeper.

Neglect suggests a choice.

Being a farmer is a choice.

Losing a farm is not.

And this doesn’t just happen here, it happens all over our country. But here is where I live, and here is where I love, and here is where I weep, for the loss of the American dream, one field, one barn, one beautiful bovine at a time.

I’m glad this day of Reflection with Supe resulted in the following photographs, for amid the not so subtle colors that draw the throngs of leaf-peepers, there are also signs of the times.

And please, don’t get me wrong, not all the photos of yesterday are sad reminders.  Some are of the wondrous sites that bring these people from thousands of miles away.  The commentary only addresses those photos that evoke a sense of loss for days gone, livelihoods lost, to government’s well intended (?) intervention.

These signs are everywhere.

And knowing his roots as a farm boy, I also know it’s never easy for him to see what is an all too common sight today.

I wanted him to know that I see what once was when I point my camera in the direction of a falling down ruin of a barn, or the overgrown and gone to seed fields that once produced food for the masses, four-legged and two-legged alike.

I wanted him to understand that the photos I take are not just a sad reminder of the times. Nor are they just a snapshot of the foreseeable future.

They are, for me and I hope for him, as much a tribute to the rich history and grass roots past that he cherishes and I’ll never let die.

I wanted him to come away from our day of Reflection knowing I see and feel, the depth of what’s lost and that I’ll never take life, or family values, for granted.

So, here, Part II of A Day Out with Superman and Lois:

The High Price of Low Progress
~♥~
For Dad
~♥~

(and for you Dad, we’ll start with some to make you smile)

See? You are smiling right? :)

See?
You are smiling right?
🙂

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I’ll end with a Patch
A Pumpkin Patch
Pick one…it’s YOURS!

A Day Out with Superman and Lois – Part I

Those of you who followed me in my former blogging life know that when I refer to Superman, I’m talking about my Dad

You also know that I consider him to be just that…a Super Man

As the only girl of 4 kids, I can honestly say that doesn’t make a shit’s bit of difference   LoL

I’m just one of the boys only I have bumps in the front and I’m the one who got our Grandmother’s thighs

The boys got our Grandfather’s hairline (or lack thereof), but that’s a hairy tale for another day

Yesterday was a Dad and Me day

Supe and Lois

We plopped into the Mini, picnic basket in hand (thanks Mom), camera at the ready; for a day of riding the dirt and following the sun.

Please enjoy Part I of the fruits of our day

The part of the day I call…

Reflections…in more ways than one.

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And thank you to my all time favorite dirt road traveling companion…I love you Dad

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“On the Street Where You Live”

Ahhh.

The music of Lerner and Loewe.

Remember? “My Fair Lady?

Can ya hear it? (hint – click on my song of the week and you will)

Well, this is my version…not music to the ears, but hopefully music to the eyes.

On The Street Where I Live

~♥~Happy Fall my friends ~♥~

(and as always…a click on the image for the full view)

 

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If both ‘My Fair Camera’ and the weather continue cooperating…tomorrow I may venture out and end up…

On The Street Where You Live

Keep an eye out will ya?

I take cream and a touch of sugar in my coffee…

Winter Intermission…

Though I’ve been back but a moment…I’m taking an interlude.

I felt it best to leave a note on the door along with an open invitation to sit a spell if you’ve the time, and enjoy a quiet moment with some of my favorite winter moments.

I hope to see you all soon back at my place, but in the meantime, I’ll drop by yours every so often for a good cup of wisdom, a much needed smile and a chuckle, and some downright good conversation.

R

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