There’s nothing scarier than to start packing for a move and discover how much crap you actually have. We got six boxes packed yesterday, mostly glass and ceramic pieces that were down in the basement. Some of these are “family” pieces, others are seasonal items that we use once or twice a year. Most of them are now packed up and ready for the move.

The good news is that there are probably six or seven boxes worth of other stuff that is in the garage, waiting for our big garage/moving sale on Saturday. We have committed that anything that doesn’t sell on Saturday will be taken to the Goodwill. We are absolutely not taking this stuff with us to California.

In other news, talking with the parents in California, it looks like they have already chosen our apartment and are prepared to co-sign the lease so that we can get the apartment that they looked at. See, there are two versions of each apartment, the standard and the upgrade. The upgrade has better cabinets and counters in the kitchen, higher-end appliances and light fixtures, etc. Of course, the upgrade also costs more per month. However, the folks looked at one upgrade unit that the company was offering for the standard price, but only if you signed on today. Hmmmm….

Well, I don’t know these people, so I won’t assume that there is something nefarious going on, but it does seem a little coincidental. At any rate, Dad was going over with a bunch of checks to put down the initial deposit and application fees. Yes, they are charging us two application fees because we are two single men. Please.

The good news is that we will have our new address soon, and can start working on setting up utilities and so on. We have reserved the truck/trailer rental for the big move, and we should be arriving in California before the end of the month. California, here we come!


We have sold our house, for a price we can be happy with. That’s the good news. The bad news: we have to vacate the house at closing! That means we have just 4 weeks to pack up and get ready for the move. Holy cow!!!

We have a lead on an apartment in Sacramento that is really close to Mom and Dad W, and it looks like it will be the right thing for us for the short term, until jobs and mortgages and a new house fall into place. We have contacted a mortgage broker who may be able to help us with jobs as well as a loan, so it all looks good!

We have a lot to do, but we’re ready! California, here we come!!!

Upcoming Travels

Steve W is getting ready to drive his car across the country. He’s excited about the trip, although this is the longest distance he’s driven by himself. Thankfully, the iPod will keep him occupied during the long trip.

Yesterday, he drove the car to Louisville for a checkup and fix to the convertible top (the auto-cover wasn’t opening properly to allow the soft top to go into its nest). The trip went smoothly, and he was home just about 9 hours after he left. Unfortunately, the road construction on I64 reminded him of the perils of long drives – those pockets of construction where you get stuck behind a bigrig going 30mph and no passing lanes. He’ll have to do some research on where the construction is so that he can plan for it.

He has already booked his two overnight stays on the trip, finding a cool tool on the Wyndham Rewards website where you can look for hotels along your route. Way cool. You pick hotels based on the distance from your starting point, and in the list of hotels you see the starting price for a room. Steve found some great bargains, and was able to get the first two days planned out so that the third day will be relatively short, and he can get to his parent’s house at a decent hour.

Another week of preparation, and he will be ready to go!

P. S. A special shout-out to Jen who took time out from her busy workday to have lunch with Steve in Louisville. It was a great visit, and hopefully we will be able to meet up one more time before the big move!


I’ve been remiss in updating this missive because of all that’s going on here in Hooterville. It continues to be a fun time here.

We started downsizing. We’ve sold a couple end tables on Craigslist and still have an audio tower posted for sale there. We put our dining room table (with 10, count ’em, 10) chairs), pie safe (if you don’t know what that is, you’re not from around here), and buffet cabinet up for sale at one of the local auction houses. We have sold a number of items (mostly small, but getting bigger) on eBay. We are raising money to help pay for the move, once the house sells.

Oh, yeah, the house is on the market. We’ve had one open house and one other showing, but so far, no nibbles. The house looks really good, if we do say so ourselves, and all the feedback has been positive. No complaints about the price, either. Hopefully the right people will find it soon.

We are also selling our pontoon boat that we keep down at the lake house. If we are only using the lake property in the spring and fall, it doesn’t make much sense to keep the boat. It is a 20-foot Bennington with a 50hp four-stroke engine. Not super-speedy, but it can pull a tube and is great for a romantic, sunset cruise.

Steve W will be traveling to California beginning on June 23rd. He is going to drive his car out and leave it at his parent’s house in Sacramento. He will fly back after July 4th. Steve G is retiring from his job at the Postal Service. His last official day is July 31, but with accrued vacation time, his last work day will be July 3. When Steve W returns home, we can survive on just one car. We hope.

In the meantime, there is more to sell on eBay. New items will be posted soon.

That Noise You Hear Is a Big Sigh of Relief

We got the word yesterday that the lady who looked at the house has decided not to make an offer. She is “passing on it” in her words. We are relieved, grateful, and more relaxed about what is going on with us right now.

Given that it looks like we won’t be able to move to California as quickly as we’d hoped, this is a very good thing. We will wait to put the house on the market until June or July, when we have a better sense of what is going on with the US Postal Service.

We had a great weekend, with lots of connections with family and friends for the Easter holiday, and now we have more to celebrate because we will be staying in this great house for a little while longer!

First House Showing

Our house is not officially on the market, but we had a showing yesterday. The mother of one of the other agents at the Real Estate office is looking for a home after living in a condo. She spent about 45 minutes here with her son, asking lots of questions. Unfortunately, she has no interest in the basement (a 1000-square-foot family/rec room with lots of space for parties, games, and relaxing) and even wants to move the laundry upstairs into a hall closet or into one of the bedrooms.

Now I don’t fault her for wanting to make the house her own, if she really wants it, but it’s hard to imagine someone paying top dollar for this house and not using 1/3 of the finished square footage. The Evansville housing market is funny about valuing a house at price-per-square-foot. The finished portion of the basement is listed in the total square footage, but the price per ft2 is calculated only on the upper floor(s). That makes our house a lot more expensive per square foot than other homes in the area, and will make appraising difficult. It would be great not to lose money this time, especially since we’ve been in the house such a short time, but sacrifices must be made.

In other news, Steve G has received responses from most of the postmasters in the Sacramento area, none of them good. The USPS is in the midst of a jobs reduction, so many people are looking for new positions to replace ones they’ve lost. Someone in Steve’s availability is not going to be considered until all those other people have found new jobs or left the service. It may be the end of the summer before he can be looked at.

What will we do if we sell the house before then???

What’s Next…

Steve W lost his job on Monday. It was a surprise, but not completely unexpected. There was a sense that he was on the way out, based on some of the messages that were being sent during his status sessions with his boss. Target likes fresh minds that are willing to be molded into perfect team members, and Steve just didn’t fit that mold. His sister Carol had the perfect response: we are free spirits, and we just don’t fit in most corporate settings. She’s right – the best corporate jobs Steve had were the ones where the reins were loose and there was a lot of creativity and freedom.

The situation has made us wonder what is next for us. We have started talking about the possibility of moving back to California. Steve G might have some difficulty transferring with the Postal Service, but he has done it before. There aren’t any supervisor or manager jobs in the area where we plan to move to, so he may have to back to being a letter carrier.

We are going away this weekend to do some more thinking and talking. More later…

Kitchen is finished!

Well, the new kitchen is done! It only took about a month, but what a transformation! Without changing the position of the walls (although some of the wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed), the kitchen feels about 3 feet wider and incredibly spacious!

Kitchen BeforeHere’s the kitchen when we first bought the house. The oven and refrigerator are on the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The peninsula is on the opposite wall (the garage is on the other side of the kitchen). Over the peninsula are double-door cabinets that we took down almost immediately after we moved in, to open the space up a little.

Kitchen BeforeThis shot shows the oven and refrigerator. The house was built in 1962, and the kitchen is original. French provincial was very popular back then, but I can’t say that the turquoise counters went with the antique finish on the cabinets. Everything was very well made, and the kitchen had a couple neat features, including an electric warming drawer and a special cabinet to the right of the sink base that was ventilated and had wire drawers for storing vegetables. The cabinets have gone to a nice home where they will be enjoyed by someone else.

Kitchen AfterThe new kitchen has two toned cabinets (“Merlot” on the bottom and “Taupe” on the top). The granite counters incorporate both colors, which ties the room together. The arrangement of the appliances has flipped; the fridge and oven are now on the wall next to the garage, and the cooktop is on the wall next to the dining room. Behind the cooktop is a pop-up, downdraft ventilating system, so there was no need for a range hood.

Kitchen AfterThe wall between the kitchen and dining room was shortened about 3 feet, and a cutout in the middle opens up the space even more and connects the kitchen and dining room together beautifully. Granite tops the passthrough, giving the space an elegant feel. The recessed lights and pendant fixtures over the new peninsula adds drama. It is a perfect space to hang out, read the paper, and visit with friends while you’re cooking.

It’s hard to believe that this all happened so quickly, but the results are dazzling! We still have to pinch ourselves to believe that it really is the same kitchen space, but it’s definitely not the same kitchen!

New House

We have moved! After some discussion and pro-con weighing, we decided to sell our house and move to something cheaper. We figured that we could save about $1000 on our mortgage payment with a cheaper house, and hopefully find one that didn’t have as many extra costs associated with it.

Well, we found a great house that has almost the same square footage as the old one (counting the finished basement, it’s actually bigger), and we will be settled in by Thanksgiving. There is much work to be done. We have started replacing the flooring, and will eventually completely redo the kitchen. It’s a work in progress, but it’s one we’re excited about!

Quick Update

Just a quick update to say that we’re doing great. We had an amazing vacation with nieces Sarah & Amie in June. We took a cruise around Italy, with stops in Barcelona, Cannes, and Dubrovnik, Croatia as well as Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii, Florence, Pisa, Venice, and Taormina, Sicily. Every port was incredible, and we have many memories and lots of photos to sort through!

We’re now in the heat of the summer, but we know that autumn is just around the corner. School starts here next week, so things will be busy at Target, and we’ll have to say goodbye to a few people as they leave for college.

We’re having dinner Wednesday night with friends who leave Saturday for an Alaskan cruise. We’re bringing our pictures from our trip in 2001, and we’ll be able to relive those memories and share them with friends. We’ll try to add some of those pictures and our pictures of the Mediterranean to Picasa in the coming weeks.