Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shiz just got REAL

I have been informed that the moving company will be here to pack on Thursday.  As in, approximately thirty hours from now.

(picture me running in circles, eating many, many brownies, fanning myself, and generally having a nervous breakdown.)

*pant pant pant*

Friends of the interwebs, I am waving the white flag of surrender.  I had hoped to get more stuff organized and purged and sorted before moving.....but it is not going to happen in the next 30 hours.

The relocation company will be here to pack all of my stuff Thursday morning.  This is fabulous, in that I don't have to pack it.  So why am I having a nervous breakdown?

I'm just not ready to uproot my entire life yet.   Life will be fabulous in California, I'm sure.  But life here was kind of fabulous too, blog title notwithstanding.  I already miss my family and my friends.  I miss my sisters.  The movers coming on Thursday means that this is really happening. I am really moving three thousand miles from everyone we know.

I'm just not ready.

I encouraged the Mister to apply for this job.  I believe that this is a good move for our family. Its going to be good.  But its also the end of an era. I've lived in New Jersey my entire adult life, and most of my childhood.  Its what I know, its what I'm familiar with.  My encyclopedic knowledge of New Jersey highways and ability to find my way home from any exit off the NJ Turnpike will be useless in California.

The movers will load the truck on Friday, along with my car, and then the kids and I are camping out at Grandma's for two weeks while our belongings wend their way to our new home.  They will be delivered on March 15th.  Greg will continue to go to his old school in NJ during those two weeks.

Tomorrow I am going to focus on packing two large suitcases with enough clothes for two weeks in NJ, and a few days of warmer weather clothes for when we get to California.  I will clean out the fridge, as it will be going on the moving truck.  I have a number of other small errands, like picking up the kids' medical records, and I have to make a number of phone calls, like enrolling Greg in a new school.  And that is all I am going to do before the movers get here.

I will try to remember to put aside some spackle and paint and painting supplies and cleaning supplies so that I can patch and clean after the house is empty.

I should probably go pull all the medicines and the passports.  (I am aware that California is not a foreign country; I just don't want to leave our passports on a truck in someone elses's possession for two weeks.)

For now I am going to have a caramel brownie.  Or five.  And read some blogs.

curtain possibilities for the new living room

For the most part, I plan on using what I have for the new house.  I don't see any major changes to the decor, but there are a few things that are different.

For one, the living room will need massively long curtains.  There are four sets of windows that run along two walls of the living room.  They are 11.5 feet high.  (It looks like there are five sets of windows, but the very last set  all the way to the far left are actually cut-outs in the wall into the dining room, and you can see the window in the dining room through it.  There are only four sets of top and bottom windows that need curtains..)

I could attempt to break them up by doing shades in the top windows and curtains on the bottom, but....no.  The room does get a lot of sun in the afternoon, and I will want to be able to cover the windows.  I see two feasible and reasonably inexpensive DIY options here.

Option #1
Use the Audrey drapes I already have, and simply lengthen them with a contrasting or solid fabric at the bottom, like I already did in our current living room. This is the cheapest option, as I have found a few fabrics I like around $5 per yard, and I'd need about 7 yards.

There are two problem with this:
 a) I have four Audrey curtain panels, but they are 2 different size pairs (one is 84 inch, one is 96 inch). This means I have to somehow adjust the 96 inch pair to 84 inches, but not permanently, and then add the extra material.  Not impossible, but a bit of work. (Also, my sewing skills are limited to hemming tape.)
b) I only have four panels, and I have four windows to cover.  I prefer a panel on either side of the window, which means I need 8 panels.  This pattern is discontinued at Pottery Barn and sell for a fortune on ebay, if you can find them, so buying four more panels is out of the question. I would only be able to have one panel per window.

Option #2
Make simple unlined 140 inch panels from this Ikea Gullan Blom fabric:
This is not super-cheap, but its fairly inexpensive, considering I'd be making eight 140 inch curtain panels.  I'd need about 32 yards of fabric, and its $6 a yard.

I will admit that I am leaning towards the Ikea fabric.  It has the same reds and blues as my living room chairs, the scale is really large, and its just so fresh and graphic.  I totally dig it.

For tomorrow's design discussion, lets discuss what the hell I am supposed to put in that 10 feet space above the fireplace.  I assure you that I do not have a piece of art on that scale.  I have an idea or two, but I would love to hear your thoughts.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

The new house (house #10)

So! We found a house to rent. We will not be homeless in California.

We ended up going with our second choice.  Option #1's rental agent seemed impervious to our excellent credit rating and pressing need to find something this weekend. She said she'd possibly let us know sometime next week.  So....we went with the property that was not managed by a crazy person.

The new house is a Spanish-ish style house, with terra cotta tiled roof and peach exterior, and looks exactly like the other 500 houses in the tract. Better not come home drunk, I guess.

On the plus side, it has 2.5 baths (YAY THREE POTTIES), a decent size yard, and TWO large closets in the master bedroom, and lots of closets everywhere.  The kitchen is...hmm...lets politely call it "dated," with peachy-lime-washed cabinets with dark blue tile counters, but there are plenty of cabinets, so that's a step up from the kitchen here where I had to install my own cabinets in order to put away pots and pans.

It has a large room off the kitchen that is advertised as a dining room/bonus room, so I intend to use it as a dining room/playroom space.

There are tons of windows in the house.  In the living room, the windows are 11.5 feet tall, so....what to do about curtains?  That room gets a ton of light, enough that I'll want something to cover both top and bottom windows.  But, I don't plan on staying here for more than a year or two, so it has to be extremely cheap.  Any ideas on where to find 140 inch curtains for $10?

The bedrooms essentially look the same as the rest of the house...lots of high-pile beige carpet and white walls.

We take possession on March 15th....two weeks from now.

ACK.  SO MUCH TO DO.  Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


There are palm trees all over the place here in California.


On Thursday we used a car service to take us to Newark airport for our flight to Califnornia.  We left the kids at home with Grandma.  I settled into the backseat, holding only my purse.  It was quiet in the car and there was plenty of room.

"This feels terribly decadent," I said to the Mister.

"What?" said the Mister.

"This....I'm sitting in a Lincoln towncar that someone else is driving.  I have only my own purse to account for, instead of three bookbags full of entertainment and food, plus my own bag, plus a diaper bag, plus a bunch of suitcases and carseats. I'm not carrying all of those aforesaid bags while trying to hold two children's hands while trying to keep the third child in sight.  I'm not yelling at anyone to stop touching or not touching someone or something. I do not have the constant feeling like I am trying to herd cats using only my feet because my arms are full of the cats' belongings.  I am, in short, responsible only for myself.  It feels decadent."

"Honey, you need to get out more."


We drove allllll over yesterday, looking at every single property in our price range.  We have found three acceptable properties, and have put in applications on all three.  Our second choice has accepted our rental application, but we are really, really hoping that our first choice accepts our application.  Our number one choice, which is far and away the nicest one, is two blocks from school, has a nice yard, and has a space for a playroom. (It is also the most expensive, has a later move-in date than we'd like, and the rental agent is not returning our calls.)

Agita.  Bring on the cake.

My fingers are crossed that this is resolved by the end of today.  I fly home at the crack of dawn tomorrow.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

House hunters

You know those idiots on House Hunters who say, "I'm only in town for 24 hours, and I want a 5 bedroom house with a huge yard and a jacuzzi and granite counters, and I refuse to spend more than $700"?

That's us!  The Mister and I are off to California this weekend to find an apartment.  I have 2 days and a small budget to find a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house with laundry and a yard.  Wish us luck.  I'll report back on Sunday when I get home.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wherein I assert dominion over the basement.

So! I have not posted in forever, because I was eaten by the large piles of crap in our basement and our garage, although never fear, I fought my way out, and then I managed to break not one but TWO computers in the space of 24 hours, because you know moving across the country is not expensive AT ALL and of course you will want to replace not one but TWO computers a few weeks before you move.  Anyways, that  is my excuse for not blogging or commenting on any of your blogs, although I continue to read them on my phone, because oh my holy heck I am sick of purging and reading the internets is a nice break from that.

So! The basement.  Yes.  I finally finished that.  Sort of.  It needs to be packed, but I purged it of all the crap.  Most of the crap, anyways.  We still have a lot of crap but its now organized crap.  This took me most of an entire day.

This is the far wall at the end of the workbench, containing mostly boxes of the Mister's work stuff from a previous job.  Also, decor crap.

As you can see on the right hand side of the above picture, and again below, is a shelving unit that holds....crap.  Kitchen stuff that we don't have room for in our tiny kitchen, old checkbooks, Ikea decor boxes, three dead computers (that pile has since grown to five dead computers), and a number of plastic filing bins. One of my must-be-done items of business upon arriving in California is to buy a large filing cabinet.

Rounding the corner, we have more shelving full of crap.  FYI, if you are thinking of renting or buying a house, and in the basement there is lots of built-in shelving, it is not because the former owners are ever so handy or generous in providing storage. No, the shelving is there because that basement leaks and has water issues, and the shelving is so that their belongings don't get wet.  Jut so you know.

Anyhoo, to the left we have lots of unused plastic bins and baskets, a large box containing unused lamps shades, a suitcase, office supplies, and a large number of folding chairs.

To the right, we have more suitcases, wrapping paper, coffee makers, art not even unpacked from the last time we moved, a difficult to see hutch to the antique secretary, more assorted crap, and an unbelievable number of plastic forks and spoons in that basket in the front.

And lastly...this fiasco:

I would love to give you a dramatic After Picture.  Except that the basement still looks largely like it did before. The one dramatic change is the wall by the treadmill.  Most of the boxes were wet and were recycled;  the rest was donated.

I know, it has a very "it puts the lotion in the basket" vibe to it.  The creepiness factor makes me walk faster on the treadmill.

The rest of the basement really still looks the same.  Now the junk is organized into boxes of similar junk.  Kitchen crap in three boxes, decor crap in four boxes, etc.  See? Pictures do not look very different.

I gave away six boxes of stuff to family:

One sister inherited 27 Harlequin romance novels, a West Elm starburst mirror, kitchen cannisters, and the lamps I was making over for her but won't be able to finish because it is too cold to spraypaint.  The other sister inherited pink sparkle glitter shoes and a number of other items for Denise. My mother received cooking tins, my entire stash of spraypaint (waaah, did not want to give those up), an electric can opener, and she agreed to transport a Keurig coffeemaker to my grandmother.  My inlaws received a cold storage food bag and two olive trays.  Everyone received at least one cold storage bag from Wegman's, because I can never remember to bring them to Wegman's with me and thus end up buying one every time I go.

I also amalgamated my enormous collection of plastic forks.  Apparently I have over five hundred plastic utensils, paper plates, and napkins.  I should have sent this home with my mother.  I probably will if she comes up again before we leave.

There was a full minivan of stuff donated to Goodwill.

That's five trash bags and two cardboard boxes of stuff.  One FLOR rug, three sets of table legs, a ridiculous number of lunchboxes, a baby piggy bank, a roller shade, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember.

The basement is as purged as it is going to get, peeps. Now it needs to be packed in boxes.

California, here we come!

Oh wait. There's still the garage.  And Project Patch All The Holes.  But then! We are off to California!

Edited to add: I am linking up to Pancakes and French Fries William Morris Project.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I could use a house-elf about now.

Started purging the basement.  Have reached the "omg, what have I done, there's too much crap on the floor to put it all away and I'll never finish this before the babysitter leaves" stage.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

pretty dresses

One thing I am looking forward to in California is the weather, and thus the opportunity for me to look reasonably attractive.  I have quite a few rules about clothing.  My main issues revolve around finding comfortable shoes, and comfortable pants.  These two things are impossible to find in any stylish fashion, and I wear sweatpants and sneakers from September till May. 

In the summer, however, I look kinda cute.  I wear low-heeled t-strap sandals and swingy jersey dresses, and I look fairly put together.  A year-round warm climate means I should look at least 50% less frumpy on a daily basis.  Although I checked the weather report for the past week and LA has been windy, rainy and 57 degrees.  Hmph.

I am on the hunt for some pretty dresses, but am coming up short.  I want a cotton jersey, to the knee, straps thick enough to the hide the over the shoulder boulder holder, washable, doesn't need to be ironed dress.  And I want to pay less than $40 for it.  (I'd like to pay $20, but I'll go up to $40.) 

This dress does not exist. 

I tried on 400 dresses today.  Ok, maybe not 400, but it felt like it.  I can tell you that navy blue and horizontal stripes are popular this year.  I can also tell you that I prefer horizontal stripes on my curtains, not on my posterior. 

If I were going to spend a gazillion dollars, I would buy a few of these:

via Boden
via Talbots

via Talbots
I did manage, however, to find some cute shoes.
via Talbots

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a day late

My computer crashed and burned yesterday, so I am a day late with my sappy Valentine post. 

At this stage of my life, I don't care much about grand gestures.  I look for the little things, the every day things that show what a person really thinks. I lucked out with the Mister. The Mister is a fabulous life partner. 

Things I appreciate about the Mister:

The Mister is patient, loving and kind, witty and intelligent.
The Mister carries my purse, regardless of how it clashes with his outfit.
The Mister buys tampons and other horrifying feminine hygiene items without complaint.
The Mister reaches for my hand first, to hold my hand in public.
The Mister works hard to provide a good life for his family.
The Mister is an honest person.
The Mister does not have an agenda. What you see is what you get.
The Mister does the grocery shopping with the kids.
The Mister's first choice of something to do when he has free time is to spend it with me.
The Mister goes shopping with me.
The Mister is nice to his mother.
The Mister gets up early with the kids so I can sleep in. Like, every single day, ever.
The Mister values my opinion, asks for it often, and frequently heeds it.
The Mister listens to me.
The Mister pays attention, even when I'm not talking.
The Mister thinks I'm pretty.
The Mister doesn't care if I'm not pretty.
The Mister likes to have dance parties with the kids.
The Mister has a number of handsome physical attributes. 
The Mister is not afraid to laugh at himself.
The Mister takes care of me when I'm sick.
The Mister thinks I'm funny.
The Mister can intelligently discuss just about anything, as he has a wide variety of interests.
The Mister is a good tipper.  (Former waitresses such as myself notice these things.)
The Mister believes in frugality but is generous with his money.
The Mister has been incredibly supportive of my career, be it staying home or working outside the home.
The Mister does manly things like remove rat carcasses from my kitchen.

The Mister sounds like a paragon of virtue, does he not? 
He is.
And he's all mine :-) 

Monday, February 13, 2012

little things, friends

Recent conversation:

Me: Brr, its cold! Its supposed to snow tomorrow!
Greg: Do they have snow in California?
Me: No, not too much...maybe in the mountains, but where we are going to live it is very sunny and warm all year round.
Greg: (gasp of horror) No snow?!?!  Do they have Christmas?????

We have a landline.  Do you have a landline?  If yes, you are over 35, right?  The only people who ever call us on the landline are our parents.  Literally. I can scroll back through 21 days of calls on the house phone, and every single one of them is one of our parents.

We have moved five times in the last nine years.  On average, we move about every two years.  We also tend to move about an hour north or south from the previous location, usually because of a new job.

For a delightful four year period we lived in south Jersey, where nearly all of my family lives and most of our friends live. I grew up in south Jersey, and the Mister and I went to law school there. When we lived there (we moved twice, but those were down the street moves) I had a group of four friends from high school that I saw once a month for dinner, and the Mister and I had some couple friends that we would hang out with once or twice a month.  We are not party animals, and we also spend a lot of our time with our extended families, but we had a nice social life.

I do not make friends quickly or easily.  I tend to hang back and assess for a while.  I also tend to have a few close friends rather than a large crowd.  I've noticed that every time we move, it takes me six months to a year to make new friends. This means that for the past few years, we move, I have a lonely year, then I find some friends for a few months, then we move far away again, and any friendships I may have struck up are generally relegated to email/texting and the occasional playdate every few months, and the cycle starts again.  Case in point, in the past few weeks I have found some people I like here, and now we are leaving. Again.

I'm really hoping that when we get to California we can settle down for a while.  I am somewhat hermit-like by nature, but this is too hermit-y even for me.  Unfortunately, I know that we are renting for the first year in California, and then we will buy a house.  I'm afraid that we won't find a house in the same area as our next apartment, and any friends I might make will be left behind yet again.  I'm afraid that I won't make any friends at all the first year and then I'm looking at two years of hanging out with only my children.  (I foresee a lot of locking myself in the bathroom if that's the case.)

I am not all that excited at the prospect of "putting myself out there."  Yes, with that attitude I am doomed to fail, I know, I know.  Its just seems harder to make friends as an adult.


We have scheduled our apartment-hunting trip for the end of February (only two days to find something, ack), so hopefully we will find an apartment in a forty-eight hour time span, and then we can get down to the nitty gritty business of decorating it.   Nope, there ain't much decorating going on in this house. In fact, I need to start purging post-haste.  I guess I could start with our winter clothes.

If you are local to NYC and you want a free campaign desk with a hutch (looks like this, although its blonde and white, you can paint it the color of your choice), drop me a line.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Recently Tiffany at Worthwhile Domicile nominated me for a Leibster Blog award, given to blogs with readership under 200 followers.  Wayyyyyy back in the day, Suzy at Saved By Suzy nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award, too.....and months later I am getting around to passing it on.

I'm supposed to tell you a bunch of facts about me.

1. I had a five year stretch in law school and working as an attorney where every single night I dreamed that I was drowning.  Yes, every night for five years. Sometimes multiple times a night.  Thankfully that stopped when I stopped practicing law.  I rarely dream of drowning now, but my anxiety dreams always center around water--I'm on the beach and the tide is washing away my stuff, I'm bodysurfing in the waves but keep getting knocked down, I'm in a rowboat and the water is very choppy, I'm driving over the Driscoll bridge but the sides of the bridge are gone and I'm speeding and the middle of the bridge is washed out....my anxiety dreams are pretty obvious.

2.  I like to say the word MOIST.  There are at least three people in my life who have banned the use of the word MOIST in their presence, and I like to say it as often as possible in their hearing.  MOIST MOIST MOIST.

3. Speaking of having less than 200 followers, I have done next to nothing to grow this blog, besides participating in the occasional linky party. I keep thinking I should do something.  Yet, laziness prevails.

4. I am math-challenged.  If it is a home decor project involving math (or anything else involving math), you can be sure I will screw it up.  I make my sisters do the math for me, they have mad skillz.  How come I'm the only one who did not get any math skills?  (I can tell you why, actually--in the fourth grade we moved to Jamaica, and I was put in sixth grade, which was fine in all the English and history subjects, but going from long division to trigonometry without any of the two years of math foundation in between confused me, and left me with a "I don't understand any of this" mental phobia for the rest of my life.)

5. I don't like animals.  I am extremely allergic to them, and I was terrified of dogs from the age of two onwards. I used to have nightmares about big black dogs eating my toes.  I can now be around dogs without screaming in fright and scrambling up onto the shoulders of the nearest bystander, but I still don't like them. Yes, I'm sure your dog is fabulous, and yes, I can see puppies and think aw, cute, but puppies grow up to be the kind of dogs that eat your toes and I'm never going to be an animal lover, okay?

I am supposed to nominate some blogs myself.  In looking through my blog reader, I see that most of the blogs I follow have over 200 readers.  (Apparently everyone has time to grow their blog but me.)   I can, however, share a really witty, fabulous blog I started reading last year:

Hilarity In Shoes.   This post is one of my recent favorites.  Fantastic, witty musings on life, a painful breakup, and starting a new job.  Check it out.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The vacation where I paid $332 to find out I was dehydrated.

We had a lovely time in Costa Rica.  Although the Mister couldn't get the time off from work, I decided to take the kids and visit my inlaws at their house in Costa Rica.  Its a great place to take the kids, since the beach is 2 blocks in one direction and the pool is 2 blocks in the other direction.  We generally go in January, and its a lovely escape from the cold gray winter blahs in New Jersey.

Excitingly, we had a trip bookended by medical problems. Two days before we were supposed to leave, Peter had an allergic reaction to an avocado roll, and then a rebound reaction again the next day to a cream cheese sandwich.  We discussed whether or not we should stay home with the pediatrician, who said we could go, but take a preventive course of steroids and eat a very restrictive diet.  Peter ate macaroni and cheese for nearly every meal there.  The day after we came home I took Peter to the allergist again, where we discovered he is also (add it to the growing list) allergic to avocado.

The middle of the trip was go to the beach in the morning, eat lunch, go to the pool in the afternoon, eat dinner, go to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat five days in a row.  We also went to the Zoo Ave, which if you are vacationing in the San Jose area, is really lovely and well worth the trip, even without kids.

At the end of the trip, I woke up three mornings in a row with pain in my calf and in the back of my knee.  I am taking medication that has a risk of blood clots, I have a family history of blood clots, I have a genetic marker for a clotting problem, and I had just gotten off a long flight a few days earlier, which ups your risk of blood clots as well.  It wasn't until the last day that a lightbulb went off in my head, thinking "oh hey, maybe that's a deep vein thrombosis and I should get that checked out before I get back on a plane."  I called my doctor's office in the States, explained the situation, and the nurse said "you WILL DIE if you get on a plane. Go get an ultrasound of your leg right now."

Uh....is there any wiggle room there? Like, I'd prefer to die in the States, could I leave the foreign country where my health insurance is not accepted for expensive medical procedures and get checked out when I get home?  No?  Okay. Crap.

Instead of the leisurely pace we had planned, we threw everything in the car and raced an hour and a half to San Jose to go to a hospital ER near the airport. This is where I was weeping at the thought that I might be stuck in Costa Rica and would have to drive three kids 3800 miles through Nicaragua and Mexico and 17 states to get back home.  Apparently there are such things as heparin shots and I wouldn't have to drive through Nicaragua, but I didn't know that yet. I was seen fairly quickly, and nearly all of the very handsome medical professionals spoke English, which was handy, since I don't speak Spanish.

The ER doctor did not think it was a DVT (lack of redness and swelling), but given my impressive list of risk factors, I quickly received an ultrasound of my leg. (Btw, having an ultrasound on your groin is more invasive than you might be expecting, and you will fly home oiled up from your bellybutton to your ankle.) Luckily, everything was normal, my leg cramps were probably from dehydration, and I paid $332 for the entire experience.  Yay for the Costa Rican medical system; a self-pay trip to the ER and an ultrasound in the States would have been closer to $3000.

Expensive lesson learned: drink more water when vacationing in tropical countries.

That medical detour left us with just under an hour and a half to make our international flight home.  We didn't know how to get to the airport. We had no cell phone reception or internet to let the Mister know that I was ok and that yes, we would hopefully be on the flight home.  With some extremely vague instructions on how to get to the airport ("go that way and then go left"), we raced through San Jose, skidded into the car rental to return the van, and finally made it into the airport, where we had to get through the exit tax station (they charge you money to leave the country!), check in, get through security, and arrived at our gate as the plane started boarding.  As we boarded, my mother in law ran back down the concourse, bought a calling card and called the Mister to let him know I was still alive and would be on the plane home.  It was a very adrenaline filled hour and a half.

The rest of this post is all pictures and anyone not related to me is free to skip it.  Although there is an anatomically incorrect sand mermaid pictured if you're into that sort of thing.

The view from the balcony is just gorgeous.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Room Challenge: the one where I bow out.

So! We are back from Costa Rica. Sadly, since I was leaving for Costa Rica the day before last week's challenge, I did nothing for my dining room. Since I got back the day before this week's challenge and spent all of Tuesday sitting in a doctor's office, I have also done nothing.  I realize this is not exactly what I signed up for or what you have come here to read about.

Thus, since we found out a few days ago we are moving to California, I am going to bow out of this blog challenge.  I was honored to be invited to participate, and I'm sorry I haven't gotten more done.  But we are moving in about six weeks and I don't want to put any more time or money into my current dining room.  (Check back in six weeks, I'll have an entire house to decorate.)

Check out the rest of the participants in the One Room Challenge, I know they have some awesome projects to share with you.

Saved by Suzy
Trapped in North Jersey
Nicole Scott Designs
Kim Macumber Interiors
Rue de Emily
The Pink Pagoda
Nana Moon Shop
Taylor Morgan Design
My Crafty Home Life
House Four
Living Savvy
(A Lifestyle Thing)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

details: new name?

Thanks for all the warm wishes on our announcement that we are moving to California.  Its nice to know so many people will miss us.  Heaven knows I will miss everyone on the east coast.

We are moving because the Mister got a new job. (In California, obv.)  We don't know where we will be living yet (ACK), but the Mister will be starting soon, and the kids and I will follow soon thereafter.  Most likely we will be in Orange County, so if you have knowledge to share, shout it out, because I know zip about the O.C. other than I love me some Seth Cohen.  We have a house-hunting trip scheduled for the end of this month.

We are working with a relocation company that will be moving all our stuff, including our cars. How to move the cars was really giving me agita. Me and the Mister cramming our children and all our worldy possessions into our two cars and caravanning our way over the Rockies in late winter rings a little too close to the Donner Party for my comfort.

Unfortunately it takes seven to ten days for the relocation company to deliver our belongings to our destination.  This means that I have seven to ten days of having a house in NJ with no furniture in  it, and seven to ten days of having a house in California with no furniture in it. Also, no cars in either location. 

I am moving from stage one "omg, California will be awesome!" to stage two, "omg, WHAT HAVE WE DONE?"  Even though we've moved around quite a bit in the last few years, we've never been more than two hours from our friends and family, and we see them quite a bit.  Now we are moving 3000 miles away from everyone we know and love and I'm guessing that means we won't be seeing them much.  Also, the logistics of uprooting our entire lives--and packing up the basement---is giving me the heebiejeebies.

I think I really need to step up the pace on the decluttering project in the basement.

Lastly, as some dear commenters have noted--my blog name is no longer accurate.  What to do about this?  Change it to something completely new, preferably not geography related, so in the event I move again I don't have to change it again?  Do the lawyerly thing, which would be to keep the name, add a colon with an explanatory phrase?  (Check out any law review article to see what I mean.)

I am leaning towards keeping the Trapped in North Jersey. Changing the whole thing seems like a lot of work. Unless someone gives me an awesome blog name. I am terrible at coming up with original ideas like that, hence the Trapped name in the first place.  I wouldn't mind a new blog name, I just haven't come up with one.

Trapped In North Jersey: the California Diaspora?  (is a family of five big enough for a diaspora?)
Trapped In North Jersey: We Don't Live There Anymore?
Trapped In North Jersey: Escape to Witch Mountain California?

Your input on the blog name is highly desired. 

Friday, February 3, 2012


In the last week of August of 1998, I was driving to class at law school, and was stopped at a light.  As I sat there waiting for the light to turn green, I was swamped with an overwhelming wave of misery.

I was a week into law school and had an inkling that law school was full of people much smarter than I.  I was in my seventh year of an unhappy dating relationship. I had moved home and back into my childhood bedroom, just as every independent woman dreams of doing.  I had applied to three dream law schools in California, been wait-listed at two of them, and outright rejected from my please-oh-please-please-please-accept-me school, and was instead attending a much cheaper in-state law school less than ten minutes from my parents' house.

As I sat at that light, grumpily contemplating my life, the song "Ready to Run" by the Dixie Chicks came on.  At that moment my heart rebelled.  DRIVE, YOU IDIOT, it said, just drive the hell on up out of here.  Get out of Dodge.  Just go, go, go--GO ANYWHERE BUT HERE.  LEAVE NOW.  Keep driving till you hit California and figure it out when you get there.

I still think of that moment every time I hear that song, even now, nearly fourteen years later.

My follow-the-rules body ignored my rebellious heart and kept on driving to Torts class. I made my way to the private parking lot on the edge of campus where I had bought a parking spot for the school year, and parked at the very end in my assigned spot.  As I got out of my car, a giant blue Buick roared through the gate and swung into the spot two cars down from mine.  A cute boy got out, swung his bookbag onto his back, adjusted his earphones into his Walkman (dude, it was 1998), and he headed off across campus, without once ever looking my way.

Five years later I married that cute guy who ignored me.

But at that moment, that hot summer day in 1998, I had no idea that a piece of my future had just shifted into place.  Not an inkling that that day's unhappiness would one day be replaced by love and laughter that was walking in front of me in size 11 shoes.

Now we live in northern New Jersey, and I no longer want to keep driving to California.  My fondest wish is to move back to south Jersey, the very shackles I so desperately wanted to flee fourteen years ago.

Of course, since the universe has a perverse sense of humor, we are moving to California. Maybe the universe heard me fourteen years ago and set this whole plot in motion as a way of delivering me to California when I was finally ready.  I trust it will work out just as awesome as the last time I wanted one thing but got something else.