Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Going to Lose My Mind

Today is Scott's last day of work here in Key West. We are narrowing down places to live in Georgia and have only 13 days before we are planning to leave.

Today the company in Bingen, WA emailed Scott and asked him to call for an interview.

I feel like my emotions have been run through a cement mixer and splatted out onto the road.

If that wasn't enough to make me just sit down and cry, last night my bosses told me they are pregnant. She is 36 and has been off birth control for about six months.

I'm 32 and have been off birth control for TWO YEARS.

I can honestly say this is the first time since we've been "trying" that having a friend tell me they are pregnant has bothered me at all.

I'm sure it's because I have so many other things to deal with right now, but I'm really having a hard time not being actively jealous.

Too Much Head Noise

It's 3:07am.

I tried to go to bed twice so far - starting around 10:30pm... I only have two more work days until I have four days off, then another 6 days on and that's it - we're gone!

Thanks to my fabulous in-laws, I'll be joining Scott on a trip to Seattle in November to (hopefully) meet our new nephew (if he cooperates with our schedule of course).

My mind keeps making lists of things to do and organize and pack... overwhelming.

Our immediate goal is to secure somewhere to live in the new town, there's a few possibilities lined up. Our favorite so far isn't available until the 21st of October and we'd like to be moved in before that, so we may have to go with something else.

My next goal once we have a new address is to work on new employment! I know it will be much easier once I'm actually in town and can walk in somewhere and convince them to hire me based solely on my brilliance.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Packing Up

Things are far enough underway that I feel it is safe to announce our decision...

We ARE moving to Augusta, Georgia (unless we don't for some reason).

Right now we're planning to move around October 15th, we began showing our house here today and a rep from a moving company came to check out the house to see how much to charge Scott's company to move us.

We're trying to find someone to move in here as soon as possible so we don't lose our last month's rent.

Scott has been working very hard the last two days on cleaning the house while I have been working at the pet store. His last official day at work here in Key West will be this Tuesday.

My last day at the pet store will probably be the 12th or 13th and then we are anticipating having the movers take everything on the 15th.

Scott will take Buster, Tempura, Won-Ton and Zim in the BMW and I will take the three cats and Stinkerbell in the Honda. Should be an interesting 13 hour drive... Scott suggested that he and I and Buster go ahead and have Maui drive the other cats and the skunk.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Give Up

I'm not blogging until our decision is final. Georgia is back in the running.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Georgia.

As soon as we thought we were sure about something, it changed.

Originally we were told that if we took the position in Georgia, we'd make at least what we are making now and have a lower cost of living - giving us the ability to save up a significant amount of money.

The official offer came in today at quite a bit less than what we are making in Key West to account for the lower cost of living in Georgia. Basically we wouldn't get anywhere financially and would have about the same amount of money.

In my opinion that's just not worth it. We've decided that the only reason to move from Key West is either to get ahead financially (and by a lot, not just a little) or to move HOME.

So, we're going to take the offer from the new company in Key West and work on the Washington/Oregon opportunities, and take them as soon as they are something that is worth our packing up and moving.

If you are in the Portland/Vancouver or Columbia Gorge area and think you know of a good job for me, let me know!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Comes Next

I am watching Unwrapped on Food Network.

I'm not really paying attention though, I'm more mentally wrapped up in not knowing where I'm going to live a month from now.

Recently another option besides Augusta came up, and then today "Company C" gave Scott an offer to stay that is pretty good.

But now we've gotten our hearts ready to leave Key West.

The "mystery" option could put us close to home on the west coast, but likely wouldn't pay anything near Augusta or Key West. But it would be close to home.

Close enough to go to church every week at the place we love. Close enough to visit our ailing grandparents on a regular basis. Close enough to see our nephew (due in November) and all our friends' kids grow up.

This is a very hard place to be, emotionally.

I'm good at just picking up and leaving, I made the decision to move to Key West from Vancouver, WA in about a week.

I'm not good at not knowing what the plan is.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Home Cookin'

I made a very tasty meal a couple of nights ago without any recipes...

Reese's Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 parts water to 1 part rice (I made two cups of rice tonight and it was about four times what I needed for two peppers): Put the water in the pan, add a package of taco seasoning and bring to
a boil. Add the rice, cover, turn burner off and let cook for a half hour.

Meanwhile...back at the ranch...

preheat oven to 350

Cut the tops off the bell peppers - about an inch from the top. Discard the stem and dice the rest of the tops.

Saute the diced tops in a pan with half a white onion, also diced and some olive oil. Add in about four cloves of garlic, diced. Once the onions and peppers start to soften, add in a
package of Boca burger crumbles and stir occasionally for about another five minutes, then turn the burner to low.

Clean out the bottoms of the bell peppers. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of the peppers and in the bottom of a covered baking dish. Place the bell peppers open side up (covered) into the preheated oven for about fifteen minutes. Take them out of the oven and turn them right side down in the dish, cover again and cook for another fifteen minutes.

After the second fifteen minutes, sprinkle the inside of the peppers with a pinch of kosher salt. Layer spoonfuls of the rice with layers of the burger/peppers mixture. Put back in the oven for about five to ten minutes.

Sprinkle a tiny bit of shredded cheddar on top.


Black Bean Quesadillas...

I mixed a can of diced green chilies (drained) in a bowl with about an equal amount of drained canned black beans.

Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil, put a flour tortilla on the pan, sprinkle a thin layer of shredded jack cheese and place in the oven on the bottom rack (still at 350) for about five or ten minutes - until the tortillas start to get crispy and the cheese is melted. Take out of the oven and move from the pan. Lay down new tortillas, another thin layer of cheese then spoon a bit of bean/chili mix on each tortilla and place the first round of tortillas w/ cheese on top. Back in the oven for
about five to ten minutes - until the cheese is all melty.

Serve with guac and sour cream.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Midnight Train

In the last two days a lot has been going on at our house.

We've pretty much decided to move to Augusta, Georgia.

The WHY:
Scott is currently employed by a company whose contract for his job is up October 1st. Instead of going with the new company to keep his job and get less pay, less vacation, no hurricane pay and a host of other non-benefits, he has the opportunity to take a position WITH his current company but in Augusta at at least the same pay rate and benefits.

Scott will likely go in about two to three weeks, I will probably follow within about three weeks to a month.

I'll be giving up my job at the pet store, which is the job I've enjoyed most anywhere.
We'll miss our friends here in Key West - my coworkers and especially Jenny.
Augusta is not a tropical island.

I've already applied for a real-estate closing assistant job in Augusta, which is basically the same type of thing I was doing in Washington before moving to Key West. If that doesn't come through, there is a general manager position available at a PetCo in Augusta and a few other things that look interesting.
Housing in the area is significantly less expensive than in Key West. We've already been scouting out possibilities and I've found beautiful five-bedroom homes on huge lots for a hundred dollars less per month than we are paying for our two-bedroom here in Key West.
We'd be about a two-hour drive from Atlanta, which is a hub for several airlines thus making it much cheaper to fly anywhere anytime, but more importantly to Portland.
Then there's the conveniences... Target, Red Robin, Trader Joes, Old Navy, and my favorite - Old Spaghetti Factory all within driving distance.

We're hoping to make strong headway on saving up a bunch of money so that when we DO have the opportunity to move to Portland/Vancouver, we have more freedom with what to do once we get there.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The ONLY Reason I Would Like To Have Attended a Public High-School...

This is possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen.

These kids are seriously creative. Some of the detail on the outfits is just incredible.

THESE people should be on Project Runway!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Kelsie asked about the colored lines on the NOAA maps... if you look at the key in the upper right hand corner it shows that the colors correlate to different levels of storm watch/warnings.

Blue is Tropical Storm Warning - which is what we've been experiencing today.

The delivery truck for the pet store came around noon and between my bosses, two boarding staff, Scott and I and another employee an her husband, we got everything unloaded, unboxed and put away within about 2 hours.

Then the bosses took us to lunch at Jack Flats downtown where we enjoyed some good food and drink and trivia games until the power went out... That only lasted for about a half hour and then it came back on.

We experienced a second power outtage for about 20 minutes about an hour ago, but nothing that has caused us discomfort or danger.

The pet store will re-open tomorrow at 10am and Jen told me I can come in at 2pm instead of noon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

HW to TS

We're all the way down to Tropical Storm Warning...

The pet store is getting a scheduled delivery tomorrow so I'll be working and probably drag Scott in to help since most of the kids evacuated.

Staying Put

As you can see... we are now outside the cone and are quickly downgrading from "hurricane watch" to "tropical storm warning".

We're ready to get out if we need to, but right now it doesn't look like we're going to need to.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Family Together

Scott arrived home safe, but almost didn't make it on the plane in Ft. Meyers. We've never changed our drivers licenses and he couldn't prove he is a Key West resident, so they nearly wouldn't issue him a ticket.

The animals are all very happy to see him, Stinkerbell is back snuggling his leg in her old familiar spot and Buster has been overly attentive as well.

This is the latest 5 day forecast of IKE, which puts us under "hurricane watch" but not "hurricane warning".

Click on the picture to see the whole thing...

We will pack and be ready to go if deemed necessary tomorrow afternoon.


Ike is one fickle dude. Now he has turned a bit northward again..


We are planning to be ready to go at any moment and then go as far as we need to.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Not Going, Just Swimming.

If Ike stays on his present course, he will most fiercely attack Cuba and stay out of the Keys, with the exception of a storm surge of up to seven feet.

At this time we are not planning to evacuate anymore, but may go stay at my bosses' house if ours gets too wet.

Scott arrives home tomorrow around 3pm.

Current Plan...

Scott called me this morning and is worried enough to cut his business trip short and come home tomorrow.

This is good in many ways - I miss him, of course, but then I don't have to worry about what to do with his car, he can drive it AND I can pack it full of more stuff.

At this point we will be leaving Monday morning sometime to Punta Gorda which is near Fort Meyers. (See "A" on the map)

In fun news... I've been receiving birthday cards and greetings online starting yesterday, and my bosses took me to a wonderful dinner last night which I intend to describe IN FULL as soon as I'm not doing something else. Like work, or packing, or fleeing for our lives.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ike Update

Well, as of 8pm on Friday... there is now a mandatory evacuation for the keys for Sunday.

Still planning to go - just not sure when.


The current 5 day forecast of Hurricane Ike puts it right over the Keys on Wednesday as a Category 3 or higher.

My bosses let me know this morning that they are making plans to evacuate on Tuesday and that I and my zoo are welcome to go with them to a friends' house in Central Florida.

I am mostly ready to roll with the animals, but I need to try and do a little prep at the house so that if there is flooding not everything will be ruined.

I'll update as I can, at the very least I'll phone it in to a friend and have him update my blog for me.

Scott has given me the option of "demanding" that he come home and help, but if he does then his company would want to evac him to NM anyway, so I'd only have his help preparing, not during.


Three of my fingers are adorned with band-aids.

One for a Sun Conure bite I received on Monday while trying to replenish their food and water.

One for a cardboard-cut (like paper cut but OUCH WORSE!) I ended up with after a large box slid through my hands.

The third I have no idea of the cause, I just know that all three injuries were stinging and irritating me and since I couldn't sleep anyway I decided to neosporin and bandage them.

They feel better now.

Too bad it didn't make me sleepy.

Everyone else in my house is sleeping - even the hamster is snoozing in her UFO instead of running on her wheel. Stinkerbell actually slept with me on the bed for awhile, with her little black and white rump smooshed up against Maui's.

Zim (the turtle) is sleeping under his sun-lamp on a ledge that sticks to the sides of the aquarium via magnets.

Buster is on my bed, Chou is on a cat post, Maui is napping in the corner and Minx is on the guest bed.

Back I go to the room of Snoring Dog.

Wish me luck. Better yet, wish me SLEEP.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Finally Kicked My Own Butt

I don't know if it's that I'm sick of the house smelling like various kinds of animal poo, or if I was tired of eating fast food, but I finally got with the program.

Yesterday I managed to do two loads of laundry, change the sheets on my bed, clean the cat litter box (which Stinkerbell has been pooping in also of late), haul the garbage out to the cans and wrestle the cans to the curb, and work on a craft project I've been trying to get done for weeks.

Today after work I went to TWO grocery stores and stocked up, then within ten minutes of getting home I fed the dog, the skunk, the cats, unloaded the groceries and did a round of dishes.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Day #I Don't Know#, Hurricane Season 2008

Faye was no big deal. Seriously.

This picture was Faye around noon on Monday, August 18th. It was a little heavier later that day, but nothing major. We closed up shop and everyone took naps.

Gustav went past on it's way to Louisiana on Saturday, we had some tornado warnings but it too was not a big deal... it sounded and looked less severe than Faye was.

Hannah looks like it's probably going to head up the east coast and miss us entirely, even though right now it is a Category 4 hurricane.

I took advantage of the decent weather today to wrestle the garbage cans out the gate, although I had to work pretty hard to even get the gate open as the back yard is getting pretty overgrown. I may have to pay a friend to mow it.

I actually started a load of laundry before I went to bed last night, so processing it will just be a matter of getting off the couch. I'm hoping to tackle the litter box this afternoon.