Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.
Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.
Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.
Well well, you are alive, after all. I'm glad to hear it! I know the working-two-jobs thing must really suck and I hope it'll be over for you soon; the new position, with only Western Hemisphere travel, sounds a little less stressful than what you've been doing (and a lot less stressful than what you're doing now). When things calm down, post some pictures of your knitting progress. I'd love to see that petal sweater! And -- given your new hectic schedule, are you still thinking you and yours may come college-hunting this way in February?
I checked out Don's Velocity-building site but ran out of patience with my dialup while trying to leave him a comment. I'm fascinated by the whole thing though and I'll be keeping track of his progress. I have to say too that I was so touched by what he put on his "about me" page. When life gets overly frustrating, go read that to yourself a few times. You're a lucky woman, Annie.
Here on The Frozen Mountaintop, we're still fighting for a decent internet connection. Currently we're on dialup, and not just dialup but slow dialup. If we're really, really lucky we get a 26.4 connection; usually it's more like 21.6. Painful is not even the word. Steve and Mike, one of our neighbors, spent over 5 hours yesterday trying to get us a decent connection to the local wireless coop. Results? Well. Wireless depends highly on line of sight, and we just don't have a good one. The guys spent many hours on a ladder fiddling with the angle and orientation of the antenna, and still were only able to get reception to about the same as the modem ... scratch that idea. At this point what remains is satellite; I'll talk to the folks at WildBlue on Monday and we'll see. Satellite is expensive and I've never known anyone who was happy with it, but at this point it's any port in a storm. It HAS to be better than 26.4, right?
And onwards to a few more pictures. First of all, I realized that Jasmine has been slighted since we moved; we've had pictures of Pip, and of the other cats, but none of her. She's quite happy here; she's found her preferred spot in the window in the upper stairwell, which has a nice wide ledge perfect for observing the world and supervising the household.
And more views here. I'm trying to get a good morning and evening view from the living room or bedroom, and these are the best I've managed so far. I'll keep trying, but at least these give you a bit of a feel for what we see first thing in the morning, and last thing at night.
So here's my excuse - I'm doing two jobs, and it's just about to kill me. I am working way too many hours, and not having any fun. Hopefully this long slog will be over around the middle of February, and I can catch my breath. Wish me luck surviving until then! The good news is that when the dust settles from this, I will be working in a different business unit, and I'm really excited about it. I'm sad to leave all the people that I've been working with, and I'll miss them, but the new job has some real advantages. For one, instead of being global, the job is an Americas job so I'll go to Latin America and Canada but not Europe or Asia. That means less travel, and the travel that I do won't be quite as intrusive into our weekends.
There have been a few things going on around here. The Velocity kit is finished, and Don has started on The Big Build. Here is a link to his site, so you can see pictures of the Velocity in progress. If you want to leave him a comment, go to Contact Me and then the guestbook. He loves comments . . .
I've also done some knitting for someone who is expecting a little girl in February. I found a pattern for a sweater with a flower petal pattern around the neck, and thought it was seriously adorable. It's also a quick knit since it's knit on size 7's. I'll get a picture once I have ends woven in and have it blocked, the ribbing wants to turn up. I'm also working on a cable sweater for a boy, and I have three other sweaters I need to get moving on. My assistant is pregnant with a boy, and two other people I work with are having babies, one boy and one girl. Finding time to knit is a serious problem - I may wind up doing something easier than a sweater, like booties and a hat. We'll see what I can come up with, and I promise pictures once I'm down to only one full-time-all-consuming job.
I'm so glad that you are getting settled, and it sounds like you have great neighbors. Enjoy your new house, and don't freeze. You did pick the absolute coldest time of the year to move north! Our winter has been really brutal this year - lots of snow, and we are on a string of almost two weeks of below freezing weather. Steve had a field trip planned this week to go snow-tubing, and they cancelled due to 25 below wind chill. They say we'll be above freezing tomorrow, and I swear when it is 35 I'm going to feel like wearing a t-shirt outside.
I promise to be a more regular contributor when this work thing settles down, say around mid-February. In the meantime, please keep posting about all your adventures. I do read from time to time even if I'm not posting . . . or commenting . . .
So, what's new and exciting with you? (posted by Lani)
You never call, you never write ... you never post, you never comment ... Well, nobody comments except my realtor when she couldn't find me anywhere else, so it isn't really fair to pick on you for that, but you're my sister so neener neener. C'mon, Annie, surely you can at least make an "I'm alive" post for us. Maybe a picture of Pumpkin and Tater? Or Steve? Or even no pictures at all, just "I'm alive." Puhleeze?
Here, it's just more round-the-clock fun. Not only are we still unpacking but we've got workmen in the house right now, replacing the wood flooring in the foyer and at the side door with slate. The wood was pretty badly damaged from a couple of years of realtors and clients traipsing in through the snow, so we opted to go with a really pretty multicolored slate. I'm loving it. Obviously we're not done yet, but I'm a dork so I had to take an in-progress picture.
Now, of course, we have more pictures. I'm still in love with the views we have, so get used to the pictures -- there will inevitably be even more. I'm SO in love with the views, in fact, that I ripped down the kitchen curtains so I can see beauty all the time.
And speaking of beauty. We had a cold, cold night Sunday and woke up Monday morning to ice everywhere. It almost doesn't look real, does it? It was so darned cold that night, in fact, that the reservoir froze over.
Later in the day, I realized that, standing on the back deck, I was actually above the clouds. I love this house. I may be cold, but I love this house.
And a note: I hate how I have to fiddle with Blogger to get pictures to show up right. I'm giving up and working with Photobucket from now on.
Our house has been, to say the least, somewhat of a mess since we moved in. Boxes everywhere, stacks of packing paper reaching towards the ceiling, you name it. Moving is a lot of work, ya'll. I'm happy to report, however, and even to provide pictorial evidence, that we're making progress. Proof? Here's the main level of the house.
The master bedroom, bath and closet area is pretty much unpacked too. Yay! Now onwards to the downstairs ... family room, guest bedrooms, Steve's office and our yarn room. Ouch. Lots of work to do down there.
Our wonderful new neighbors had a Welcome-To-The-Frozen-Mountaintop party for us last Saturday night; we got to meet pretty much everyone who lives nearby, and enjoy good food, good drink, and interesting conversation that didn't center around boxes and snow shovels. The opportunity to relax and enjoy a purely social situation was wonderful and much needed! I've joined two of my neighors a couple of times during the past week for a home workout (they try to get together 3 to 4 times a week, as schedules permit) and let me tell you, that's really been nice too. Granted I'm not at my best -- I'm pretty beat already from unpacking and toting boxes around -- it's so nice to have some non-box-lifting workout activity and the extra social contact with smart, funny women (Caroline is an RN, and Margie is a psychologist who's currently writing a book). Steve, meanwhile, is working long hours and muttering about it, but he's enjoying himself immensely -- he just wouldn't be Steve without the grumbling. And we're both loving the house and the views.
In other news we're under contract for our home back in Virginia, with a closing date of January 28th. We had honestly expected that it would be at the very least March before the Norfolk house had even a nibble, but Robin pulled a rabbit out of her hat and got us a fabulous offer in under a month. We've been very fortunate to have had two fabulous realtors, Nancy Kirkendall in Colorado and Robin DiBuono in Norfolk, helping us make this move, and I can't recommend either of them highly enough.
Keepin' It Real - The Trip to Colorado (posted by Lani)
In the spirit of full disclosure for those of you who might someday consider a cross-country move from sealevel to a snowy, high-altitude location in the winter, I decided to give you an abridged version of the FUN FUN FUN we've been having over the past couple of weeks, as we moved from Norfolk to The Frozen Mountaintop here in Colorado. First of all, some details: we moved from pretty much sealevel to pretty much, um, well, a mountaintop. Here's a picture taken from our back porch ... beyond the lake, beyond the mountains beyond the lake, you can vaguely see the plains, and ... I think that's maybe Longmont, which is northeast-ish of Boulder. Or it could be the western part of Boulder. Anyway, that represents civilization.
The frozen part? Yeah. Frozen. Definitely frozen. When I got up the other morning it was -1, -17 with windchill. I hear it was colder the next day, but I've started avoiding the thermometer like the plague because in cases like this ignorance definitely is bliss. Our altitude here is roughly 8600 feet, give or take a few feet. We've fortunately had very little in the way of altitude sickness, but definitely can feel it in shortness of breath and headaches if we over-exert -- and over-exertion is, of course, the name of the game when you're moving. We get a lot of snow, and a lot of wind.
So! Back to the moving. Really the least said about the move itself, at least my end of it, the better. The drive out wasn't too bad really. I mean 30 hours, alone in a car with a dog, 3 cats, and a bird. How bad could it be? Don't answer that. You really don't want to know. Truthfully it was all good for about 26 hours. Unfortunately, right about when I hit the Colorado state line, the cats rebelled. They were OVER this traveling thing. Done with it. They'd had enough, and they didn't care who knew it. I was only 4 hours out so I kept driving, occasionally pulling over to peel a cat off my head, the dashboard, the headliner of the car, the dog, another cat, you name it. After giving it a while in hopes that they'd calm down I finally pulled over and slammed all three cats into their carriers; they were caterwauling already, they might as well do it from jail.
Finally, on the horizon -- look, there's Denver! I'm almost there! Except, of course, for the construction on the only route I had directions to take to get to our house. BAD BAD BAD construction. And it's dark. And I'm tired and stressed. I said bad words, a LOT of bad words, and negotiated the mess (and mess it was). And then ... I was lost. I had no flipping clue where I was, but it was on a little, dark, two-lane road with no signs. I wasn't about to go back into the Construction Zone From Hell, so I kept driving until I saw a 24-hour gas station, and stopped to ask directions from a very very nice gentleman who agreed with me that MapQuest directions were good only for starting fires. Fortunately, MapQuest's best efforts notwithstanding, I was actually on the right road and only a couple of miles from the turn onto the Home Stretch.
And finally, I pulled into the driveway here at The Frozen Mountaintop at we-won't-say-what-time am, got out of the car, took a couple of steps, and sank knee-deep into the snow. A couple more steps and I was thigh-deep in the snow. Back up ... regroup ... OK, I see a path. A little, narrow path. I negotiate it safely, scare Steve to death (he didn't expect me until the next day), we get the cats out of the Torture Machine, and wait for the movers.
Oh yeah -- those unhappy cats: They've recovered. (Jasmine was sacked out on the rug next to the chair, but I couldn't manage to get her into the picture. We'll just let Hunter and Onyx speak for her.)
And obviously, given the chair the cats are lounging on, the movers got here right on schedule. Steve our driver was fabulous. Even when the moving van got stuck in the snow in the driveway, and we all (driver-Steve, his unloading crew, and me) had to dig and dig and dig and then he backed up and tried to get out again and the truck slid sideways again and we had to dig and dig and dig again, and then he backed up and tried to get out again and ... are you seeing a pattern here? Moving vans are, by the way, much more work to dig out of snowdrifts than your average car. We all did a lot of cussing and a lot of digging and I sacrificed both of my rubber doormats to the cause, and I do wish I'd taken pictures but at the time all I was thinking about was the possibility of having a moving van instead of a garden gnome in the front yard, unexpected guests until spring. Eventually I'm glad to say that our hard work paid off, and driver-Steve and his helpers were off leaving me with a house full of boxes. Little plug here: we used Bekins for this move, and they were fantastic from start to finish. Especially driver-Steve, who kept in touch with us along the way so we'd know exactly when to expect him and was just a thoroughly nice guy.
We're moved, safely in Colorado and trying to get unpacked. The whole moving thing was an adventure, let me tell you. YOU try driving 30 hours with a dog, 3 cats and a bird in the car sometime, if you don't believe me. Then there was the whole "moving van stuck in the snowdrifts in the driveway" debacle ... but hey. The furniture got into the house, the moving van got out of the driveway, and we're slowly but surely settling in.
We currently have a phone but no internet access; dsl? HA. Cable? HA HA. With luck we'll have some form of wireless this week, with less luck we'll have a lesser form of wireless next week, if we have no luck at all we'll be getting a satellite system installed at some point thereafter. In the meantime I'm logging on about 3 times a week from a coffee shop, when I come down to the flats. I'll try to put a REAL post together in the next couple of days, but in the meantime I leave you with pictures of Pippin, a Florida dog who had never before seen snow. You'll note the snow along our front walk; yes, it really is pretty much hip to waist deep (it melts a little, then it snows a little, so it varies). It's *cough* a change from Florida, and from Norfolk. Fortunately for Pippin (1) we bought her a new coat (pink and white! with a fur trimmed hood! She really is a princess, obviously), and (2) there is a spot up near the rocks where the wind keeps the snow swept fairly clear most of the time, so she actually has a place to walk. The slippery sidewalk obviously isn't a good option for her; the whole "ice" thing confuses her no end. Poor Pip ... fortunately the house is heated through the floors, so her bed is nice and warm. She appreciates that.