14 October 2006

Actual "possession" of our home was Tuesday, 10 October after closing which was scheduled for 12:30PM.

Scheduled is the keyword in that sentence. More about that later!

Tuesday started bright and early with a bowl of cereal, glass of OJ and a donut at the Seatons, and then over to 20 Brookwood for the last time! At 6AM we showed up to clean out the refrigerator and freezer, pick up a few last minute things, including Katrinka, vacuum Linda's used to be office which Katrinka slept in, ate in, and used her potty box in.

By 7:15 we bid adieu to our home for the past 4 years and headed south, both cars loaded, to our new abode in Lancaster city. Linda arrived first because Jim had to stop for a cup of Java at the Sheetz gas station. Katrinka and all of her gear was put in the master bathroom just minutes before the moving trucks pulled up ready to unload.

After a walk thru at W. Walnut Street, showtime started! Box after box after box came through the front door and quickly became a stack. . . . . a stack in the living room, a stack in the dining room, a stack in the office, a stack in the front bedroom, a stack in the master bedroom, and a HUGE stack in the basement!! Furniture followed and by 10:00 AM Linda was overwhelmed!

Pat showed up to help, and started unpacking boxes, tearing boxes down, and shoving paper into garbage bags. She stacked dishes, helped make beds, loaded can goods in the pantry and anything else she could do. She was our "babysitter" when we went to the closings of both homes.

The closing for Brookwood was delayed by 1 1/2 hours due to problems our buyers encountered with their buyer! Their buyer waited until they were completely out of their home and then came in with an extra inspector looking for something. She found what they estimated to be about 10K worth of problems and wanted them to escrow the funds to have the problems repaired. Putting 10K into escrow put them short to close on our home so they were scrambling to come up with the additional funds. By 12:30 we received a call that they had the problem corrected and we could now finalize the sale.

Since the office was only 10 minutes away, we left and waited an additional 45 minutes at the office for the paperwork to be approved and both parties to show up. Dennis showed up; Heather never did. They finally had us sign the papers so we could go finalize the purchase of our new home, sans the check!

By 1:45, Chad received a call that our check was ready and as we were signing documents, he ran back to the other office, picked up the check and brought it to the closing of the W. Walnut Street property. Talk about stressful! If there was anyone who was stressed, it had to be the purchasers of our home.

The Lancaster home was ours, the house on Brookwood in Lititz wasn't! We are officially Lancastarians!. . . . or whatever residents of Lancaster are called!

The movers finally finished unloading and carrying in our worldly possessions by 4:00 with no major mishaps. Their only complaint was about all the boxes of books that had to be carried to the third floor! Which is one reason we hired movers! Think we wanted to carry all those up those flights of stairs???

More about our experiences in our new city later!!

09 October 2006

It's Here! Moving Day has arrived!

I was up at 4:30AM (so what's new, you might ask?) and ready to go. A list of last minute things swirled through my mind and I was unable to get back to sleep, so in my bathrobe, I started sorting, packing and labeling. If it didn't move, it either got stuck in a box or put on the island in the kitchen. At 5AM I started filling the washer with hot water for the final load of laundry. At 5:30 I went upstairs to awaken Jim so I could get the sheets off the bed and into the washer!

Sheets were washed, dried, folded and packed by the time the movers showed up at 8:15. They pulled up in two different trucks. As we did a "walk through" to show the movers what stayed and what went, two of the helpers picked up items to carry to the truck! I'm impressed with this company and the initiative the workers show!

By 10:15 the living room and dining room were almost empty and they were starting on the second floor. These guys flat haul! The dining rooms looks emptier than I've ever seen it. The lone table just has it's dust and my sewing machine to keep it company and the rolled up rugs in the corner are wondering if they're going to be left or thrown on the top of something! The hutch in the corner now belongs to the new owners, so it's been emptied and dusted and is ready for their beautiful things to display.

It's now 11:15 and the first truck is not loaded! It is artfully packed, but not loaded. One of the movers told me they could get the entire house into this truck with the second truck handling the basement and garage. I think they are almost to that point! They have the TV to get out of the family room and the bed out of the master bedroom and then on to the basement!

The living room which was stacked with boxes to the ceiling 4 hours ago, now just has a few left. A suitcase, a bench, and a few odds and ends keep company with about 20 cartons yet to be loaded. Now that the boxes are loaded, we can start patching and painting the wall where wall art once hung.

One thing I do know for sure is that Jim and I could not have done this moving thing by ourselves! Hiring movers is the only way to go, in our opinion. These three young men know exactly what to do, and keep moving. I'm impressed!

It is now the Saturday after moving day and I'm finally getting to the computer to finish my moving day experiences!

The movers left at 3PM and we had a 4:30 appt for our walk through on Walnut street. We quickly cleaned ourselves up, changed clothes and headed into Lancaster. There we met our realtor and the "current" owner and walked through an empty, soon to be filled with boxes, home. It was beautiful! The floors were polished and the kitchen was shined. It was everything we wanted! and we were excited! We signed all the necessary paperwork signifying our approval of the premises and hurriedly headed to soon-to-be sold home on Brookwood.

When we got to Brookwood they had done their final walk through and approved of everything. We talked to them for awhile and then ran over to Tom and Cindy's where we were going to be staying for the night. We had promised to take them to dinner and we did! Down the hill to Lititz Family Cupboard for a nice leisurely dinner and then back to their home to relax!

The "Bed and Breakfast" bedroom she had prepared for us was welcoming and just what we needed at the end of a long day!

The next day was the "trying" day, and will be detailed later!

07 October 2006

The pile has spread like a fungus! It has gone from room to room!

The living room, as seen above, is almost completely full of boxes, with a few pieces of furniture pushed over to the side. It's very difficult to get to the blinds to open them in the morning and close them in the evening. If you look closely, you can see Katrinka Dinka Do, peering from around those large boxes. She figures out the right vantage points to keep tabs on our comings and goings and there she sits until we change the floors we are on!

We are wrapping up a few things today and are now on our third roll of shrink wrap. That means that over 2000 feet of shrink wrap will have to be cut off of things we find necessary for every day existance! That's a whole lot of shrink wrap, folks! But it sure is easier to use than to wrap every individual item, or in regards to my desk, put every thing in order and get it filed! Shrink wrapping stacks of paper works a whole lot easier. In fact, we've decided to keep a roll handy at all times, after we move!

My beautiful dining room is now a staging area for Monday, full of boxes, Rubbermaid tubs, and shrink wrapped rugs and carpets. They are stacked four high and three deep. This is only one of four different rooms that has boxes ranging in size "too heavy to lift" to "very light, but please handle with care!" I have cast iron doorstops and my five, two and one pound weights in boxes, and in one box, I have one piece of coral! Those poor movers won't know what to expect next when they pick up a box. Is it heavy? Is it light? If it's large, there is no guarantee that it is heavy, and of course, if it's small, that doesn't mean it's lightweight! Keep 'em guessing, that's my motto!

This is the guest room, ain't never been used for storage before! Now it's another staging area for the movers! We have not only moved the packed boxes into this room, but all the furniture from the 3rd bedroom, and my office into this room. The third bedroom and my office are now empty (except for the few pieces the new owner wants), cleaned and ready to have the door shut. Two rooms down!

Bonus question: Can you find the items that have been shrink wrapped in this picture??
Correct answer: Yup, those three items on top of the boxes! Linda's Office supplies!!

. . . and this is what the basement now looks like! Can you count the boxes? We can't, but I'm sure the United Moving Company representative will! Closest guess wins! Wins what? Why the opportunity to unpack these boxes, of course!!

Tomorrow we'll load the cars with the things we'll transport, clean the refrigerator and do all the laundry before we have to disconnect the washer and dryer for the move. We'll probably go to lunch or dinner and get ready for an early Monday morning!

Another day on Brookwood before we move to Paradise!

Friday is gone and Linda's Office looks stark.

"The Packer" from the Movers showed up right on time. I showed him what needed to be done, showed him the boxes we had, and he got right to work. He packed a box full of games and miscellaneous "stuff" in the basement and then started taking picture boxes upstairs. In 2 1/2 hours he had all the pictures packed, the Tiffany lampshades and the miscellaneous items in the basement. I watched him pack "The Lamp" since this was one of my main concerns. He was ready to go upstairs and finish packing my office, when I changed my mind and told him I could finish it myself. I watched him work, learned a few little tricks I wish I had known about 2 months ago and decided it would be a piece of cake! He left the roll of tape he was using, and the stack of paper he had not finished and off he went. By the time Jim got home, Linda's Office was finished!

Every cupboard and closet is empty and clean. The doors to them are shut and won't be opened again by the Stienstras. There are boxes EVERYWHERE!!! Big boxes, little boxes, long boxes, tall boxes, boxes that have been put together by two boxes, and bundles that have simply been shrink wrapped! Katrinka simply sits in a corner and looks bewildered. Once in awhile she will climb to the top of the stack and just survey her surroundings.

Remember my favorite shopping portal? Overstock.com? Well, two weeks ago they had an Art sale. Every piece of art was 10% off and s/h was $1.00. I have not mentioned this before because I had ordered a surprise for Jim and since he reads the updates on this blog, I did not want him to know about it. Yesterday it arrived and I gave it to him. We have decided to put it over the fireplace. Think it will look nice with the black slate fireplace? This measures 28" square and is an Ansel Adams print titled "Oaktree, Sunrise, Northern California, 1966." It reminded me of the ride from Tehachapi down the hill into Bakersfield, and I was sure Jim would see the similiarities as well. He loved it! He could see what I saw in it and was delighted with it! These California Oaks dot the hillsides all over Central California.

The quality of this print is excellent, the packing superior! . . . . . . and the price? Let's say, I saved quite a bit on this and spent a little over $100 by the time the discount had been figured and a coupon I had was used!

Just as Jim was opening it, Jody, our painter friend showed up. She had been told we were moving and wanted to say good bye. We explained no good byes were necessary since we had a little work for her in the new home. We'd like some crown moulding added in the Dining Room, a ceiling painted in the downstairs bathroom and little things here and there. Jody is our painter of choice! She has done a lot of work in this house and was surprised we were leaving.

After a glass of wine and leftover pizza we sat down to watch what was left of the news. Jim took his pre-bedtime nap and I played a few games on the computer. It had been a long day for both of us.

Two more days at 20 Brookwood. . . .

06 October 2006

After Today I should have two days of rest. . . . .

The packers will be here in an hour and the entire house should be packed. No TV, no computer, save the laptop, of course, no dishes, no ironing board (hip hip hooray!) just me, my cat, and my husband. Until Monday morning when the movers show up.

This weekend should be a relaxing one, after all, I can't work. Can't fill holes where pictures were; walls are covered with boxes to be moved. Can't vaccuum; carpets are covered with boxes to be moved. Guess I'll have to play!

Yesterday was the big push in my office. I just bundled things according to size, and shrink wrapped bundles! I shrink wrapped my in basket, I shrink wrapped stacks of files, I shrink wrapped my pencils & pens. The cat is lucky she didn't get in my way! I filled all the holes where pictures were in the family room, painted the spots and then went on to the hallway and dining room. There were, of course, spots I couldn't reach because of the stack of baskets, but I did catch a few of them.

Like this picture I purchased on Overstock.com for the dining room? Think it will match my chairs? Give the dining room a touch of color, but still simple and calming. Overstock.com has it listed as "Exotic Orchard." Think they mean "Orchid"?? This measures about 31" x 25" and cost under $120! I love Overstock.com!! They are furnishing my new home! I've bought sheets, a comforter, several duvet covers, a wonderful wool coat, winter boots, Christmas gifts, an end table, a glider for the courtyard, etc., etc., etc. All with $1 s/h!! Can't beat it, and I've compared prices and their prices can't be beat!

Better get a bowl of cereal and get dressed. It's daylight out there and I'm sure the packers are on their way!

. . . .and so starts the last Friday we'll spend at 20 Brookwood Dr.

04 October 2006

At this time next week, we will be "Lancasterians". . . . or whatever they're called!

Yesterday was the one week point and I still have to finish packing the laundry room, basement, and of course, my office! My new packing supply of choice is now SHRINK WRAP! I have been shrink wrapping everything, rather than box things! Plastic shoe boxes full of photos? Shrink wrap it! Long awkward things? Shrink wrap 'em! Bulletin Board full of photos and maps? Remove the items and try to remember the arrangement? Nahhhh ~ shrink wrap it! I've shrink wrapped shoeboxes together, shrink wrapped my trays of tools, etc. I love the stuff and it's only $7 +/- at Lowes and the stuff goes a long-g-g-g way! Even Jim is getting into using it! We each have our own rolls of it!

I will pack all of my genealogy books in rubbermaid tubs with, of course, shrink wrap around them!! That room should fly, until that is, I get to all the garbage on my desk! I have been throwing things on the desk, "to look at later." I think "later" is catching up with me!

Yesterday was the Farmersville Auction, and of course, we had to go to see how our final load of "excess" did. Linda, again, vowed she would "try not to bid." Once again, she tried, but failed! Jim should appreciate the fact that we do NOT go every week! The picture at the top of the page shows the auctioneer when Linda was not bidding, but playing with her phone!

This weeks haul included, 5 Pfaltzgraff cups and saucers that match our set (Yorktown) for $l, a nice little Asian folding screen painted in water colors with different birds on it for $5, a Constantine Kermes print, signed and
numbered, of Amish quilters around a quilting frame for $20, 3 cast iron door stops for $10, (now what am I going to do with THREE doorstops?), a china corn on the cob set (large plate with another plate in it to drain the corn, and 6 individual corn holders) for $3, and a 1000 piece coke puzzle for $3. Not too bad, but then Jim reminded me that I had to pack these, too!!

About the door stops, I was going to stop at $12.50, but I guess the person I was bidding against was going to stop at $7! These are nice big ones, not antiques and in new condition. I think I'll pick the one I like the best and take the other two back to the auction next time we go!

Now about our stuff! Jim doubted Linda could come up with even $100 worth! Farmersville takes 20% or $20, whichever is more, so we needed to sell at least $100. We sold $200! I knew we would since I had things that the Amish and Mennonites buy! A pressure cooker ($30), Box of towels ($20), Quilting frame ($30), etc. I sold Jim's 35MM camera and case, a box of postcards (those always sell good! and mine sold for ($25), etc. At the end of the day, the total take was $197 and we'll get a check for $157. The best part is we got rid of more things!!!

We have already unpacked one box that I packed last night. When I was packing (and shrink wrapping) my tools, I wondered if I really should do it. My doubts were confirmed when Jim needed my drill bits and a clamp that I had just packed. Luck would have it that they were both in the same shrink wrapped tray!

It's now 6:30 AM and time to get started on our day. Jim is downstairs checking his e-mail and when he comes up we'll have breakfast, read our devotions and then get with it!

Our final week begins!!

02 October 2006

This is "the" lamp that is dictating style in our new living room.

Several weeks ago, when we went to the Farmersville Auction to see how our items were doing, I bid on this, thinking I would not get it. I always set a maximum in my mind, and this one was set at $25. Well! Surprise, surprise! $7 actually got this jewel!!!

The inside of the unique black lampshade is gold. The finial is solid brass and heavy-y-y! The top of the lamp shade is brass, and the little circle that fits onto the lamp where the finial is placed has "F. Cooper" stamped into the brass.

When I got home, I looked up "F. Cooper lamps" on the internet, and what I found was Frederick Cooper lamps are very, very expensive! In fact, there are only nine outlets to purchase them in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The lampshades, alone are $75 each! and that is for the plain white ones! I have no idea what this black and gold one would be!!

Then I went on BizRate.com to see what the lamps sell for. OMIGOSH!!! Frederick Cooper lamps, and there are five pages worth on this site, sell for between $300 and $800!!! and I did not go through all five pages! $7??? Did I get a deal, or what???

To learn more about Frederick Cooper lamps, visit their website.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful lamps I have ever seen!

It will be the focal point of our living room!

01 October 2006

Today "should be" the seventh day and a day of rest.

Should be, but won't be! With just 5 days until the packers will be here, we want to beat them to the draw, so to speak! The two guest rooms have been completely packed as have the master bedroom, master bathroom, family room, living room and dining room. The seven easy rooms are done! Today we need to concentrate on Linda's office, the kitchen and the basement. As evident in the picture above, the pile in the living room now either matches, or surpasses the one in the basement!

The kitchen is pretty much along, we have the pantry and just a few cupboards to pack at this point. The basement is in the same condition. We have, perhaps, 4 or 5 boxes to pack, and then clean and patch walls where pictures were hung and shelves were attached. Linda's office, on the other hand, is a completely different story! The desk is covered with paper that needs attention, the closet has all those books containing her genealogy that needs individual attention, and all of the electronics need to be disconnected and packed! We will live off of the laptop for the next week.

We looked at the most beautiful entertainment center on Thursday evening. We found it on, of course, Craig's List! We both fell in love with it instantly. However! It is MASSIVE! and won't fit through the door of our little 1880 home. If it did, it would be the primary focal point in our living room, and we don't want a TV to be the focal point of any room!!

We have packed all of the dishes, and are now eating off of disposable plates. We refuse to eat with plastic silverware, however! Pots and pans have been packed and we've kept out one skillet and one pot. Anything that needs to be cooked in anything other than one of those two vessels will
not be consumed in this home. . . . unless it is brought in fully cooked!

The dining room chairs were reupholstered (by Linda, of course) with burgundy microsuede fabric. What a difference. It brings out the grain in the wood and is beautiful ~ even Jim agrees.

Final tally from Farmersville for last week was $250. We'll see what happens this next Tuesday, as the Cruiser was loaded to the point the rear view mirror could not be used ~ the outside mirrors were all that could be used.

We've been to Church, had our Jim-made breakfast and we've read the Sunday paper,
and now it's time to get to work.