Category Archives: moving

New Doors

We are all here in the house now. Everyone is home and all the beds have been assembled, so people even have a place to sleep. I think the Emmy Awards are on tonight (the old me would be watching, but then again the old me would recognize the television shows because the old me would watch something other than Masterpiece Mystery), and I feel something like a winner because I honestly could not have won this award (made this move) without my team.

My team included a remarkable friend from Seattle who moved in for a week to help me unpack and organize, and then did things like hang blinds while I lay motionless on the floor. It also included a newer friend who scooped up my children and got them out from under my feet, where they have been living all summer, and are living once again. (This same friend walked over to my house on my first day in Riverdale and removed all my children for the day while I unpacked, fed them several meals and then made us all dinner.) It included a friend and new neighbour who took Sidney whenever possible, which is truly the Gift of Life. It also included a babysitter who first watched the boys years ago in LA when they were toddlers, and who now does manicures on demand for the girls while marinating steaks for the grownups and whose very name brings tears of gratitude, and last but not least, our stellar babysitter from Seattle who just so happens to be in NYC studying and appears when I need her most, like something out of Harry Potter.

Thank you team.

I also have a new door. Not as beloved as my Team, but almost. I walked into the paint shop and told the man behind the counter that I wanted my door as blue as Parisian street signs. He referred me to Benjamin Moore Bistro Blue and this is what I got:

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Sometimes I stand out front for a while and smile.

The door is open by the way. Stop by.

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Filed under home decor, home improvement, moving, New York City, Summer

The cleanest bowl in NYC.

It is incredibly hard to move when one does not, as a matter of principle, believe in the heavy lifting of things.

Still, I soldier on.

I have written before about the compulsive shopping I seem to do before a move. When we moved from LA to Seattle I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to get 2 gallon ziplocs, so I purchased about 500 beforehand. There was also an incident with frozen cranberries in Seattle. I’m not sure what compelled me to buy 600 pounds of them, but when we moved to NY I had to unload them.

Sometimes, however, I buy something in bulk by accident.

It seems to happen when I am on Amazon late at night. Bleary eyed, I mean to order four tubes of Crest for Kids and instead, without my knowledge, I order four packs of twelve. When 48 tubes of toothpaste show up at my door I am shocked, and I immediately know one thing for sure: Now that I have 48 tubes of Crest for Kids, nobody in this house will want to use it anymore. (This is a sure fire way to guarantee your child will no longer want a product — BUY IT IN BULK.)

This was the case with the toilet bowl brushes I bought in Seattle many moons ago. I meant to buy four. I bought four boxes of twenty. I tell you people, I am creative and resourceful, but I had no idea what hell to do with 80 toilet bowl brushes.

Alas, I now have FOUR:

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Here they are with the last of the sixty bottles of toilet bowl cleaner I also ended up with after some late night shopping. They all made the move to the new house yesterday.

We followed shortly thereafter.

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Filed under Amazon, moving, New York City, shopping

Stupid Little Bags

I love bags. By bags I don’t mean purses, I mean bags, tote bags. Sometimes I love the free ones, sometimes I love the ones I force myself to buy at the grocery store when I forget mine at home (it’s a way of both punishing myself for forgetting and rewarding myself for shopping in the first place.) In short, I have many.

M does not love my bags. He especially does not like traveling with them. I have lost count of the number of times the entire contents of some adorable little open-top tote have spilled out on the floor of an airport, or under seat of the passenger in front of us on the airplane, causing him to holler: NO MORE OPEN BAGS ARE ALLOWED ON OUR TRIPS.

I always manage to sneak one or two in. And now Frances is in on it too. At eight, she now brings along her own adorable but impractical open-top bags.

But this week the open top bags rose to utility. This week we are moving to a new house here in NY. This is our fifth move with kids and each time the move grows in scope and difficulty. I wanted to move as much over to the new house as I could before the movers came and threw things into boxes with things with which they do not belong (oven gloves and toothbrushes anyone?). So I made bags: bags of toothbrushes (Stanford bookstore), bags of underwear (Goats on the Roof, British Columbia), bags of things required by children to sleep (JCrew tote, circa 2004), bags of face soap (Whole Foods, circa last week). You get the idea.

Here are the bags at work:

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(Yes those shelves are completely wonky. You can’t always get what you want.)

I told M these bags brought to mind the plucky little fishing boats that helped evacuate the beaches at Dunkirk. He did not roll his eyes. I believe he has come to appreciate my flair for the dramatic and my constant WWII references.

The bags may not have saved the day, but I was proud of them nonetheless, and because they are all currently in use, I think I have to buy some more.

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Filed under accessories, moving, New York City

Oh, Nuts.

It was inevitable. Although I made it through seven years of the Pacific NW with my sense of humor (somewhat) in tact, it seems that I am not unchanged.

A part of the house hunting process here in NY involves a romp through the garden for a place I can house the compost bin of which I have been dreaming.

And just recently I went and bought myself a nut bag.

A nut bag is surprisingly, not something one would purchase in a sex shop.

You see, it’s no longer annoying to just drink almond milk. Hell, everyone is doing THAT. Now we get to kick it up a notch: There are so many additives (blah, blah) in store bought (gasp!) almond milk, that to be even more annoying, we now need to make our own.

To make your own almond milk you need a nut bag, or else the finished product is sludgy, gritty, and overall undrinkable… at least more so than a glass of milk made from nuts needs to be.

At first, though, when I poured all the almond milk from the blender into the nut bag, it just sat there. Why was so little of it dripping out?

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I asked a friend.

Did you SQUEEZE the nut bag, she asked.

Squeeze it? I could barely bring myself to purchase the bloody thing, let alone say it. I’m not about to go squeezing it.

But you have to squeeze the nut bag if you want to get almond milk. So, I did. I just made sure nobody was watching.

I also made sure (as I like to do), that in making my own almond milk, I sullied as many items in the kitchen as possible:

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All this in the same week I had to walk into Dick’s (Sporting Goods) and ask for an athletic “cup.”

“For you?” the teenaged employee asked me awkwardly.

I thought of telling the poor, spotty soul that one nut bag a week was enough for me, and that I was buying this for one of my sons, but I just mumbled something about a child and he led me to the corner of the store where they sell things to protect body parts. The whole thing was a tad uncomfortable for me. I didn’t like having to ask how one wears a cup, or how one knows what size to buy (note to self: DELEGATE), but I did it. And the child in question was so grateful that he truly said to me:

“WOW! You took time out of your busy day to buy me a cup?”

Indeed, I did.

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Filed under children, cooking, food, health, moving, New York City, parenting, Seattle

Sprung.

Some signs of Spring could not be more welcome.

My favorite flowers are out and about…

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Other are less welcome. Spring = Passover, which = an inordinate amount of preparation for eight days of unceasing constipation. I actually like the holiday. A lot. I just don’t like the feeling of dread that precedes it.

That feeling began last week. I was lying in bed, still in the clutches of the stomach flu, when Bennett came home from school and asked me two questions, neither of which put me at ease:

1. Where do you keep the flour?
2. How hot does the oven get?

It turns out that someone had taught them how to bake matzoh at school. He knew there were two ingredients – flour and water – and that the ratio was 2 to 1. I told him I thought it was likely that the two parts were flour. (This represents the beginning and the end of my baking expertise.)

Minutes later I was presented with this::

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Spring apparently also = baseball, which is not a sport given much shrift chez nous. This is quite fortunate because it’s about as compelling as dry rot. But it seems that Spring in NYC means I have to see a lot of these:

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Yankee fans — what’s with this oversized bumper sticker? Do you really need to be LARGER than all the other bumper stickers? I even saw one on the back of a Mini Cooper and the thing took up the ENTIRETY of the rear window. Is it really worth sacrificing safety to alert everyone in a two mile radius that you are a fan? Are we compensating for something that I don’t know about? (I have no allegiances, but I have noticed that these enormo-decals are on the backs of the cars driven by some of the more obnoxious NYC drivers. Discuss.)

These stickers remind me of those similarly wankerish oversized polo logos:polo

I want to smack the parent of every child I see in one of these. Really? Do they need to see signs of your affluence from space?

I envision a Venn Diagram of all owners of the bumpers stickers and polo shirts. Other than wankerism, what’s the common ground?

Discuss.

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Filed under baking, children, middle school, moving, NBA, snow

Spring Forward, Pay it Forward.

Spring sort of sprung earlier in the week, and then today the temperature dropped below twenty just to remind us all who exactly is boss. I don’t need any reminders — I know that I am never the boss, in any situation. (Even when it appears that I may be the boss, I’m still not the boss.)

With spring comes daylight savings, which means an extra hour of daylight PLUS an extra dose of you-must-be-effing-kidding-me in the morning. As if dragging those kids out of bed and then making a show of breakfast wasn’t hard enough. (By making a show, I mean preparing at least one breakfast per child (for some it’s two or three) and then watching them eat none of it. Nothing is as depressing to me as staring at a table full of eight to ten uneaten breakfasts- cold oatmeal, congealed eggs, separated smoothies. I feel beaten, well and truly beaten.)

To summarize, it’s cold again and we are all tired.

But I’m not grumpy. Not yet, anyway.

You see, we had a glimpse of spring this week. And yes, winter is endless and summer is brutal, but spring in NYC is glorious; and it’s coming.

I’m so ungrumpy that I’m doing good deeds here and there.

Today I went to pay for parking at the muni meter and met a woman who told me that not only was the meter was not working, but that it went and ate all her change. This is not shocking. I have learned that there are about six fully functioning muni meters in all of NYC, and only one of them is in the Bronx. I tried my credit card and it worked, so I offered to buy her parking for her.

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She hesitated.

Listen, I told her. I moved here a few months ago, and something like this happened to me on the Upper West Side. A pizza delivery man came to my rescue when my card wasn’t working. He kindly gave me two dollars in quarters, and saved me a trip to the ATM (because the last time I carried any cash on me, I think it was 1998.)

So, it’s the least I can do, I said.

“You mean you’re paying it forward,” she asked.

Well, I suppose I am.

“Welcome to New York!” she cried. And then she hugged me.

So, those kids can leave all the uneaten breakfast they want. They can cry me a rainstorm in the morning when it’s time to get up. Because somewhere in NYC, there’s a woman who thinks I’m pretty awesome.

Spring is coming, people.

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Filed under children, moving, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized, weather, winter