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5 years?!

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I meant to just take a little break to get settled into the new Texas life … but, uh, then 5 years went by.

So what happened?

Facebook. Facebook happened. Well, really, Facebook + Smart Phones. It’s just so easy to post my inane thoughts to the computer in my pocket! And I get instant likes! From my captive audience of 300 friends!

(Well, not my captive audience. But a captive audience. Because they are all checking their like counts on their … slightly less inane posts.)

So, quick 5-year recap:

  • I look like a legit grown up now! Many of my earlier posts are so whiny about how people never take me seriously because they don’t think I’m an adult, but my face has finally arrived at adulthood! I had suspected it would happen around 40, and that’s about right. I’m not quite there, but … almost. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m almost there.
  • We had a house built! In Texas, where land is abundant and materials and labor are cheap. So there’s acres of wood floors! And the largest granite island known to mankind. Like you can see it from space big. Except for we do have a roof, so you can’t really.
  • I’m obsessed with knitting now. Beyond obsessed, really, if that’s a thing. I’m in a real live knitting guild. And then like 2 other local San Antonio groups. And then … I started my own group. And I go to knitting retreats. And knitting conferences! Like comic cons, but for knitting.
  • The husband launched his writing career! He’ll be a famous writer any day now, I just know it. Or, perhaps, any day after he finishes his novel. Which has 7 really awesome chapters! And a whole bunch of chapters that are still rattling around in his head. That are probably also awesome, I just can’t vouch for them yet.
  • We’ve travelled to a billion awesome places!
  • B2, B3 and the sister are all married! B2 even has some babies!

I know that’s not it (5 years is kind of a long time), but that’s all the things that popped into my head just now. Hopefully the next update won’t take 5 years, but, uh, no promises. 🙂

As I was cleaning up around the house last night, I realized I could only find 2 of the 3 house keys that I had copied. I looked all over the kitchen and laundry room, in drawers, on the floor, under the new microwave, and came up empty.

Immediately, I thought of the parade of strangers I’ve had in the house: 2 Best Buy delivery guys, 3 cable guys, and an A/C repairman. I had been storing the copies on the uber-secure open countertop.

None of the guys had seemed shady, but I started to doubt my judge of character. Plus, if all ‘bad guys’ seemed shady, we’d sure have an easier time avoiding trouble.

In the daylight, I am rational. I am fearless. I will go toe-to-toe with most any challenge. But once the sun goes down – I become very aware of just what a little girl I am, and suddenly overwhelming danger lurks around every corner. Locked inside the safety of my house, I am fine, but the possibility that somebody else had a key was enough to drive me to panic.

The husband tried to talk me down from my ledge over the phone, but I was having none of it. I packed up my stuff, and drove down the street to check in to the La Quinta.

Once I got checked in, I called the husband back, and he asked me if I had checked all my pockets. Hmmm, my, um pockets? Why no, I hadn’t checked any of my pockets …

Most of my pockets were outside in the car, so I decided to check in the morning. I enjoyed my sleep in a real bed, in a hotel room that was nicely air conditioned.

Sure enough, this morning I found the last key in my yester-yester-pants. It was such a relief! Nobody wants to chop me up in little pieces! Or steal my Dynex!

I guess Texans really are nice people, after all.

As often happens when you have two different services set up for the same day, the cable guy and the A/C guy showed up at the same time. The A/C guy quickly diagnosed the problem, and put in a quick fix (“should” last 24 hours, so at least it’ll get me through the night) and promised to come back tomorrow with the right parts. And the landlord sent him! So I don’t have to pay him! I guess renting does have its perks.

The cable guy found all the rest of my channels, so now I have the full complement of 208 ESPNs and 8517 movie channels. The husband will be so happy! Now the TiVo can tape all the shows here while we are in transit. Good thing we have two TiVos!

The cable guys arrived late to their 5-6 pm install, which was unfortunate, as I had wanted to touch base with one of the husband’s friends after the install was over. Suffice it to say, that didn’t happen.

The cable guys were in and out of the house, and even up in the attic, so I didn’t think anything of it when it got hotter and hotter in the house. I just figured it the A/C couldn’t keep up with all the open doors.

The cable guys left just after 10 pm (with partially installed cable … but at least there’s internet!), and the thermostat said it was 80 degrees in the house. I was a little worried, but hoped that it would cool down as the night went on.

I woke up at 2 am, still to a too warm house. I checked the breakers in the garage, they were all on, but none of them were labeled A/C. Not having a flashlight – and not wanting to be mistaken for a hoodlum – I opted to not check the outside breakers in the middle of the night. I turned the A/C off, in case I had managed to freeze up the air conditioner during the cable install.

In the morning, I turned the A/C back on, and checked on the outdoor unit. It wasn’t running. So I checked the outdoor breakers, and sure enough, the A/C breaker was off. So I turned it back on. And then I heard an awful buzzing noise. Coming from the A/C unit. Which still didn’t have a running fan. So off went the A/C again.

So, here I am, waiting for the A/C guy, as well as the cable guy (again), in a sweltering house. It just started pouring down rain, so hopefully that will cool things down. And not, um, keep the A/C guy from his job of making me a happy camper again.

I had entirely too much trouble locating the appliance accessories I needed. Thankfully, the delivery and installation process went much more smoothly.

The delivery guys called before hand, and they showed up right at the beginning of their delivery window. They were a little concerned that they had the wrong washer and dryer, as we didn’t buy a matching set. I assured them that we did that on purpose, as we picked out the Consumer Reports recommended machines, and those typically don’t come in a matching pair.

I showed the installer guy all the parts I had bought the day before, and he pointed out that I had purchased a 4-prong RANGE power cord. Not a dryer power cord. WTH?! (To the dad: that means ‘what the heck.’) What’s with appliances not coming with, oh, um power cords? Ranges, too? I had been so excited to finally find a 4-prong power cord (there were 3-prong guys everywhere), that I grabbed the first one I saw. Which apparently was for a range.

Luckily, as the husband likes to point out, I’m purty. So the installer guy had pity on me and threw in the right power cord. For free! Yay! Being a girl doesn’t always suck!

They had the machines installed in no time, and gave me the quick run-down on how the new-fangled machines worked. They set them both to do a short cycle, then told me they’d be good to go once they finished.

So I did what anybody would do if they had just bought a new washer and dryer: I ran out and bought something to wash and dry!!

I found the nearest Kohl’s, as they carry my favoritest towels. And I made sure they were on sale – there’s no reason to buy those towels at full price when they go 40% or 50% off every other week.

There was a Sears on the way, so I returned the extra washer hoses. And also a Best Buy, so I returned the range power cord.

I bought the towels to, um, you know, furnish the guest bathroom? Since we’ll soon be having regular guests! And then some jeans. Because I live in the land of the deep fried butter now!

I ran a load of towels, followed by a comforter, a load of jeans, and a load of darks. Everything seemed to work! I kept forgetting to close the detergent tray in the washer, but there’s a pause button on the washer that halts the load and unlocks the door, so I was able to remedy the situation. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t notice that you forget – I hope that it figures it out for you and halts the load. I am pretty sure that I will find out at some point. 🙂

The best part is, the washer and dryer both play a happy little tune when the load is done! So you can pretend that laundry is a joy and not a drudgery. We’ll see how long that trick works.

I dropped the sister off at the airport in the morning, giving her plenty of time to make it through any amped up 9/11 security. And then I had the day to myself, to accomplish one thing: buy hoses, a vent, and a power cord for the washer and dryer that were being delivered the next day.

The first Best Buy I stopped at had none of the things I needed, but they directed me to a store that would have them. I put in a major shopping effort at the Target next door (I bought at least one of everything), and unloaded it all at home before venturing out again.

I found the next Best Buy, but all they had was the dryer vent. So I bought that. And then they directed me to another Best Buy.

I had asked the husband to research me a microwave, and he found one. I passed a Sears before I found the next Best Buy, so I stopped in and picked up the microwave. And also washing machine hoses, since they had them in stock.

I found the Best Buy, and they had 4-prong power cords, so I picked one up. And also washer hoses, just to be on the safe side. In case Best Buy hoses are different than Sears hoses.

Mission accomplished! Or so I thought …

The sister had one day of fun before she had to head back home, so we went downtown to see the Alamo and the River Walk. She wanted to see the Alamo because, come on! It’s the Alamo! And the River Walk because of something about Cloak and Dagger. Which makes me wonder, why has she even seen that movie?? She was born in 1990. I’ve seen the movie about a thousand times because it was somebody’s favorite (maybe b2?), but I don’t even remember anything about it.

Even though my new home is in the boonies, we made it downtown and found a place to park in less than 30 minutes. Yay for 70 mile an hour speed limits through the heart of a city! Unless you don’t know where you’re going, then good luck to you. Just keep moving!

We wandered through the Alamo, and I recounted the story as best as I could remember. William B. Travis! Santa Anna! All the women and children hiding in one room! Nobody came to help! Everybody died! But, they slowed the Mexicans down long enough for Sam Houston to get into place and then he wiped out Santa Anna! Texas independence!!

It was early, so the river walk was pretty dead, but we found a place to eat lunch. The sister doesn’t like Mexican food, but I doubt whether she’s ever had Tex-mex. The parents were raised on Arizonan-mex, which is not the same kind of food you find in Texas at all. For one thing, Tex-mex isn’t ever a man-vs-food style heat challenge like Sonoran food often is. And another thing, Tex-mex includes chili! As someone who grew up with Sonoran-mex, that’s just blasphemous and silly. But, it is what it is. And, it’s yummy!

So, suffice it to say, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Because what says San Antonio like the Rainforest Cafe?! We were seated by the animatronic pandas, and decided to split the chicken parmesan. Which worked out well, as we are both tiny people with tiny appetites. Ok, so she’s a tiny person, I’m just a small one. 🙂 And I never get to split anything!

Given the fact that the Rainforest Cafe isn’t an Italian place, the chicken parmesan was surprisingly good. And we still didn’t clean our split plates! I was closer than the sister, as I’ve got 6 inches and 40 pounds on her, but it was still more food than I could eat. And I can put down an 8″ Deli like nobody’s business, so it was definitely a generous portion. No wonder America is fat.

After lunch, we hit the mall to do some shopping, and caught Batman at the IMAX theater. I had already seen it (duh), but the sister hadn’t, and she doesn’t live near any IMAX screens. So Batman it was! She liked it better than the husband did, but she, too, was bothered by the Ra’s al Ghul story not adding up. Because she reads comics. All of them. While I am conversant with many of the major characters in the major comics, she actually reads the things. It sure does make a geek girl proud. /sniff

We grabbed some Yummi Japanese on the way home, and the sister introduced me to Ramune. Which is just soda in a glass bottle. With a marble in it. And also tamago. Not only does my sister out-nerd me, she out-japaneses me, despite the fact that I have the Japanese name. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

After our gyoza and sushi, we slept in the new house on air mattresses that Amazon left on the front porch for us. Despite the fact that they are 4-in-1 mattresses, they clearly only have 3 configurations: 2 twins, 1 twin, or 1 king. I guess maybe math isn’t a requirement for marketing majors?

A few months back, the husband decided we should move to Texas. After some thought, I decided I was up to the adventure. I married a Texan; I knew the day would come when I, too, would become a Texan. I’m pretty sure it’s in the marriage vows.

And so ensued a whirlwind of activity: renting out our house, finding a rental home, finding jobs … I thought it was all supposed to be hard, but everything fell into place without too much effort. Moving is easy y’all! I think I’ll do it more often!

To get my car to our new home, we decided I’d drive down early and take care of logistics (internet and cable, really … the husband might just die without internet and cable). But I didn’t want to drive for 26 hours all by myself, so I flew my sister out. She couldn’t take a whole week off (ah, the shackles of adulthood), but she managed a long weekend for a ‘road trip’. Little did she know it was less a road trip and more just a whole lot of driving.

I quit my job early in the afternoon, hopped in the car, picked up my sister, and we were off! We managed to beat DC traffic and had ourselves a looooong drive through Virginia.

At the recommendation of a few coworkers, we stopped just shy of the Tennessee border, and called it a night. The Virginia side of the border is supposedly ‘nicer’ than the Tennessee side; I had to laugh when I looked out our hotel window and found a lumber yard. Admittedly, it was a clean and orderly lumber yard, but I was promised mansions and golf courses!

Day two took us through Tennessee, with a quick stop in Nashville for lunch (and a t-shirt), and another stop in Memphis for another t-shirt. Both Nashville and Memphis seem like happenin’ places, I’d like to go back sometime and spend more than 30 minutes there.

We stopped just past Little Rock, and the sister decided to have a swim. I had forgotten a bathing suit, so she risked the dangers all by her lonesome, and managed to not get kidnapped by hill folk. The hill folk were a bit odd (“there was a guy in the hot tub … wearing a trucker hat “), but were apparently friendly enough. They told my sister they’d “see her later,” which left her hoping they meant at breakfast the next morning. And me hoping it was just an expression that they said without thinking of the meaning behind it.

We did manage to get out of town the next morning without incident, and made it to Texas. We drove through the husband’s home town and ate some really terrible barbecue because the good place was closed. Chicken Express would have been a much better choice.

Later that night we made it to our destination, and picked up some Rudy’s. This time the sister was impressed – brisket, sliced white bread, and cream corn – and decided that Texas barbecue doesn’t suck. Which is a good thing, otherwise the husband would have had to disown her. I’m pretty sure that was in the wedding vows, too.

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