Monday, May 27, 2013

A weekend in the country

Andrew and I took advantage of our new proximity to Ohio and drove there to visit my brother and his family for Memorial Day weekend. It wasn't convenient for us to stay with them, so we thought we'd stay at my parents' house. My parents are in Peru, but we know where the spare key is, so there was no problem getting into the house.

Staying at someone else's house while they're away is like having your own vacation home in the country. We decided to live it up while we were there, so we invited my brother and sister-in-law and the kids, and had a great weekend.

We took naps in the hammock.

They also had some comfy hanging chairs. Bryce likes to nap in as many places as he can.

We had a cookout. But then we thought we should enjoy all the amenities of the vacation home.

We took advantage of the large-capacity washing machine.

Stacey and I did a bit of welding.

Shawn and Andrew repaired the roof. Unfortunately, the sledgehammer was the only tool we could find.

We dined al fresco.

To cap off the day, we took a drive in the Rambler.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Live long and prosper!

It might not be a big event in everyone's world, but the opening of the new Star Trek movie is a major event for my Star Trek group. If you don't remember, I belong to a Star Trek group, which is basically a group of physicist friends who met weekly throughout graduate school to watch some Star Trek, hang out, and drink beer. As time went on, different couples joined or left, and we started watching only one episode a night, giving us more time to catch up. When we moved away from each other, we started meeting virtually. We video chat for an hour, watch an episode on our individual computers, then video chat some more. I have been really grateful to have this regular contact with old friends, something that's hard to come by when you're moving a lot.

This weekend the current Star Trek group will be convening, in person, for the new movie. This is make a bit easier by the fact that two-thirds of the group now live in DC, but it still means that people are flying in from Boston and New Mexico.

Monday, May 13, 2013

This and that

In answer to the questions from the previous post:

I deal with video and photos in my work quite frequently, so of course I had the cat, dog, and husband each sign waivers allowing me to use their pictures (in perpetuity and including use in mediums not yet invented) for publicity purposes of the Styling with Renee Michelle brand.

We have, indeed, blocked off a door with the couch. (See the picture from last week.) The bedroom has two entrances - one through the hallway and one through the living room. They were both convenient, but the only way to put the couch in the living room was to block the door. This may turn out to be inconvenient in the long run, but now I am so busy dodging the piles of unpacked boxes that one closed door is, in comparison, an easily ignored annoyance.

The purpose-built couch stayed in Miami. I knew that there would not be room in my new office for the couch (because it has a wall of windows, which I love even more!) The other postdoc in the group gladly took possession of it; luckily, she is not especially tall, so she can nap on it too. In fact, she also gave a home to my painted couch as well.

In other news, my husband and I discovered that, during the three years we were away from Maryland, the state has adopted new license plates commemorating the War of 1812. (See picture here.) As one of us is a pacifist and the other was on the losing side of this war, we're mildly disgruntled. But note that we weren't annoyed enough to actually spend money on one of those fund-raising plates that we could have had instead.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Taking my time

One of the terrific things about my new job is the commute -it's one mile, and I walk it every day. Until I actually started this, I didn't realize exactly much more wonderful this would be, compared to my previous 45-minute car commute. I stroll through our neighborhood, enjoying the birds and (rather frequently) the sound and smell of rain hitting the trees. In the mornings, since Andrew is still working from home, he and the dog walk me into work. In the evenings, the walk is my decompression time after work, and I'm pretty relaxed by the time I walk in the door.

In other news, the unpacking continues. We managed to find a great secondhand couch last weekend, and we've been appreciating having such a large couch for lounging. In fact, some members of the household are particularly appreciative.

Monday, May 06, 2013

What else is there to say?

The new house comes fully equipped with ninja attack squirrels to entertain the cat.*

*I am so pleased when I can contribute to the world supply of cute cat photos. Isn't that what the Internet is for, after all?

Settling in

The best way to appreciate all the little creature comforts of home is to take them all away, and then, each day, give one back to yourself. We moved into our house a week ago, and for three or four days, we had only what we had brought in the car. So we slept on an air mattress, cooked in a single pot, and ate with the two forks I had packed. It was delightful when the pods arrived with our belongings, but since Andrew and I are both working full time, we only have a few hours to unpack each night. (And since I'm working at a brand new job, I use all my brain power there and have no energy left for household chores when I get home.) The unpacking is happening slowly, and each time I unpack a new item, I am delighted to see it again. Oh, clean towels, what a treat! And the next day I may discover a colander, so that I no longer have to drain the pasta by holding the lid tightly to the pan. On Saturday we discovered the bed sheets, and I was so happy I could have sung a song. I had no idea that sleeping on a sheet-less bed for a week would be so awful, but it turned out to be an unbearable symbol of an unwelcoming apartment.

The apartment is slowly turning into a home, and thereby becoming a bit more delightful each day. The trains still roar by, a few hundred yards from our front door, but they no longer wake me (or the dog) each night. We've purchased shelves, so there's somewhere to put the mountain of kitchen gear I own. I won't feel really settled until the boxes are all unpacked, but it's definitely a good start.