Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pass the parmesan

Off to Boston today for a couple of days to poke around and begin to narrow down where we'll wind up in a few months. My house is mostly sold. My things are somewhat organized. We'll get back on Saturday and the movers arrive Tuesday to pack us up. Our stuff goes into storage and we'll be in temporary housing here in Phoenix until Girlie is out of school. It is going to be a crazy week, but I'm ready.

I started poking around and realized that we'll be living in a part of the country where I can get real Italian food, and pretty much on every corner it seems. Family-style Italian lovingly prepared by old men with last names that with a vowel. My Grandfather was a Colucci, so I know that of which I speak.

Yes, I am finally starting to get excited.

We are moving to Boston.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The sale of our house in Phoenix is a nail biter. We had three offers, ending in one contract and two back-ups. The winning offer actually wrote us a heartfelt letter about how much they wanted the house. The guy grew up here, graduated from a high school down the street, was a police officer in 9/11, really gripping stuff.

Now our buyers seem to have disappeared. The inspection came back pretty clean, but no word from them since. The agent keeps promising a response and I think today is the end of the road.

Nothing we can do, so I'm rolling with it. Still, I could do without the drama. Let's hope this is just a one act play.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wine not whine

So I have been in a bit of a funk for the last month. Not writing, not having any fun, just consuming my time with worry worry worry. And today I'm done with it. Here ya go universe - I can't control any of it. I surrender.

Enough with the whine. Now where's the wine?

Friday, March 26, 2010


So Girlie is home with strep today. She started antibiotics and is already feeling a little better, but fingers crossed that Little Guy doesn't get it too. Yes, Hubs is still gone.

We're still negotiating the inspection part of the sale of our house. We're waiting for the final numbers on the negative equity we have in our house. Try to put a positive spin on negative equity, it's nearly impossible. The movers are scheduled to pack us up in less than two weeks, at which point we'll be moving into a corporate apartment a few miles from here. My Dad is hanging on at home and my eighty year old Grandmother has just flown in to see him. I feel like I should be there too.

I think about writing, but as I sit down to write, I feel all the negativity spilling out, so it seems best to put a lid on it and stick it back in the cupboard, where it can be packed up with all of my stuff and sent to storage until we get to Boston. In a few months, I know it won't seem so bad. I'll unpack it then.

Maybe the whole thing will finally feel like a gift as I rip off the moving company wrapping.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

All by my seeeeelf, don't want to be, all by myseeelf

Yeah, so on top of everything Hubs is out of town almost the entire month. He took the new job and then the new job took him.

I am cranky and stressed out and a wee bit lonely. Two more months and we'll all be in the same place again. When we relocate to Boston, I get my guy back and maybe my sanity, though that's questionable at this point.

Still, I'll be happy to get my guy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Disaster management

The backstory of a book I have been alternately working on and abandoning, both with equal passion, is that several of the main characters work in disaster management. As part of the process I have been researching how people react in disasters, mostly as it relates to the medical field and there has been some interesting new research since 9/11, Katrina, and now the Haitian earthquake.

So what makes a person react well? According to research, it is the ability to be in the moment. A person must react quickly, without first weighing all of the potential outcomes of their actions. Stop to think about what might happen and you fail in a crisis.

Right. I have always thought of myself as someone who is reliable in a catastrophe. In some ways I am. I'm organized, and though I might temporarily freak out and cry, I usually pull it together and move on pretty quickly. I am a doer, practical as all hell, and a pragmatic thinker. But the thinking thing is what gets me in trouble. I am not an in the moment thinker. I am a forecaster.

Like right now, I catch myself trying to plan for all of the potential pitfalls that could happen during the next few months. Am I prepared if my Dad passes away? What if the house contract falls through? What if something happens before Girlie's birthday sleepover? Or next week? Or while we're in Boston taking a look around? Will my new place have a big enough dining room for my beloved table? What about the artwork?

For most of my life, my forecaster personality has been an asset, one that has helped me avoid some disasters. But now I can see that it is getting in the way. So instead, I am trying for a little paradigm shift. Dealing with today, making decisions only on the facts I have on hand, and then moving on.

Today I had to take our dog for some blood work because she has been ill all week. It seems a little much on top of everything else. I felt the what if's creep in. Girlie has a few friends coming over tomorrow night for her eighth birthday party sleepover. What if the dog gets worse?

And then I stopped myself. If something is really wrong with the dog, I'll deal with it when the lab results come back. Right then in that moment I will make the best decision I can, and then I'll move forward. Disaster managed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The egg

I feel like I'm in the egg relay race, you know the one where you run with an egg balanced on a spoon, passing it off to the next racer without dropping it.

Only I'm not the racer, I am the egg. Wobbling, jiggling and bumping, in a slight scoop of metal with someone, or in this case, something carrying me along. I'm hoping to make it to the next part of the race without falling, putting my trust in an overexcited and sweaty third grader, who may or may not get me there safely, but keeping my fingers crossed.

Then again I guess it beats the alternative. Racing forward must be better than being scrambled or fried. Right?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Opening a can of beans

So I have been online in my very limited spare time obsessing over houses in the Boston metro area.

Wow. It's not looking pretty.

We have limited our search to several towns that are around 20 minutes (on a good day, no accidents and traffic is moving thankyajesus) from Hubs office. From that area we've tossed out the ones with bad schools and the ones more than 30 minutes from Boston by train - because if I'm embracing the fact that the winters are a wee bit nippy, then I'd actually like to live close enough to enjoy what Beantown has to offer. Otherwise we might as well live in Rhode Island. Seriously.

So, yeah, it's a little expensive. As in all of the houses in our price range probably need a little work expensive. There is the I have blue carpet and 60's wallpaper expensive or the cute but overlooking the highway expensive. Or the condo with the postage stamp property and fees expensive, not to be outdone by the the nicely renovated 1100 square foot colonial with potential for adding on expensive.

You get me snowed in an 1100 square foot house with two children and it's going to get ugly.

So it looks like we're going with the blue carpet. No we're nowhere near making an offer on a house yet. But I know what's coming. We're probably going to have to buy a fixer upper.

Brown appliances, shag carpet, and brass light fixtures in a split level ranch. Yee haw.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Down but not out (yet)

My life has taken such a crazy tilt lately that I have had to shelve all non-necessities, including blogging. My father is very close to passing away now. My house is on the market. My husband is traveling all but four days this month. I am moving in a few months and I have no idea where we're going to land.

And in the midst of all this are haircuts for the kids, Girl Scout cookies to deliver, Girlie's eighth birthday to plan, school plays to prepare for and on and on.

And me?

Just hanging on by the tips of my fingernails at this point.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy hour

So we all have these rules about parenting. One of mine is that I can pour a cocktail when Hubs calls to say he is on his way home. Now I could easily do so beforehand, but then it might be too early and then I might have another. This times the drink to occur right before dinner and helps me chill ever so slightly as the kids are kicking it into high gear aggravation mode. It is a silly little thing I do, something to look forward to when I know my load is about to get lifted. My own little happy hour.

When Hubs is out of town, I usually wait until after the kids are in bed. Not on principle really, it is just that I am usually too busy single parenting to enjoy the imbibing, so I'm better off waiting.

So it is Friday and Hubs has been gone all week. He texts me from the airport, his plane has landed, and whew - my drink is poured. He'll be home soon and I might even crack open another one before he gets here. It has been a really really long week. Really.

We're lucky here in Phoenix because the airport is close by, the traffic is relatively light, and Hub's office is just two miles away. My "rule" works really well, half a cocktail down, and I have a second pair of hands in record time. However in Boston, with the traffic and such, I just might have to alter the rules a little. Otherwise I could knock back an entire bottle before he even steps foot in the house.

Not that I would do that of course.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Having my cake and eating it too

Last night one of my dear girlfriends surprised me with a homemade organic lavender chocolate cake.

Yes, I said a homemade organic lavender chocolate cake.

Just as I was finishing putting the kids to bed, she popped in with the cake, some wine, tea, candles and flowers and we had a little pajama party. She has offered to help out a million times before, but she is also a mother and is pregnant with her second, and it just never felt right to take her up on it. So she decided to surprise me. And Lordy, did I ever need it.

I feel like I have been suffering from nurture deprivation. As a mother you spend so much time making things happen for everyone else. And even with a very supportive husband, there is always a trade-off. He might bike for a few hours and then take the kids so I can write. A give and take yes, and one that I am grateful for, but rarely just a straight give.

And last night was a give. No return favor required, just a chocolate cake and a chance to feel loved.

The cake was perfect. I ate two pieces.

Monday, March 1, 2010


So it looks official, we're moving to Boston this summer. Hubs has been offered a new position with his company and we'll be packing up the wagon to head back east.

I have such mixed feelings about it. I have loved living out west and I don't feel like we've done everything we wanted to do out here. We have some amazing friends and though it took a little getting used to, I have fully embraced the cactus.

I like to call Phoenix my "hot boyfriend" and while we are occasionally on the outs, the relationship is usually more on than off. I have a feeling that Boston is probably that guy I shouldn't get involved with. You know the one - aloof, unattainable, but so damn cool you can't help following him around like a lost puppy. We'll see.