Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why we like living in Morgan Hill

We thoroughly enjoyed our Memorial Day weekend. First I dragged Dick to the annual Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras for an hour or two :-) It was originally meant for raising money for the local fire brigade, however since then it raises money for many different non-profit organizations. There are lots of vendors selling both local products or services as well as vendors selling jewelery, art and food, including mushrooms of course. We had a quick wander through them all and ended up at the regularly scheduled farmers market at the far end of the event. I was delighted to find that half of the market stall holders were the same ones that sell at the downtown San Jose Farmers market, which I enjoyed going to recently. Local cherries are in season right now and I could live on them! I'll be going there every weekend to get local produce :-)

In the afternoon we put some of the superfluous boxes from the apartment back in the new storage unit and brought the motorbike over to the complex and did a few other jobs.

Sunday morning we cycled over to our local cinema- a couple of miles away, grabbed a coffee and watched the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie in a morning matinee. Another great way to spend a Sunday morning- exercise, good coffee and a fun movie. I love being able to cycle to places so easily.

Late afternoon we went back over to the Mardi Gras and had a few beers while watching and listening to a band playing popular rock music. It got a bit hot but it was very relaxing. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening.

Monday morning we were feeling energetic and decided to go on a longer bike ride. Dick showed me the way he goes to work when he cycles part the way in. It is a couple of miles on roads and then on a dedicated bike path- the southern end of the Coyote Creek Bike path . We cycled almost 18 miles- it is a very pretty route and I can see why Dick likes riding that way so much.

After returning, Dick's other bike started calling :-) The big red fast one... So we called up some friends and arranged to go over to see them the scenic way. We had a really nice BBQ and left just in time to ride home an even longer twisty route while the sun was still up.

Dick said it was his idea of a perfect weekend, and I wonder why.. I think I agree :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

House packed up and sold!

Yay! The week before last I flew back to Georgia to supervise the packing and shipping of all of our personal belongings. First I had to empty the storage unit and divide everything into two piles: one to go to the apartment and a second to go to another storage unit in Morgan Hill. I thought I did pretty well but since then I have been looking for some things that I should have put in the apartment pile that I did not. Anyway, I learned two lessons from this experience. I personally had packed many boxes (books etc) and had carefully labeled it all to put it in the storage unit in the first place- this part of the de-cluttering stage of trying to sell a house. I thought I had done well but I should have labeled EVERY side of any box which was fragile, as I learned that movers do not necessarily read one let alone every side of every box. So far, everything seems to have survived but we had unpacked very little... I am a bit concerned about the number of boxes that have crushed corners due to the straps the movers use to stack everything as high as the ceiling in their truck. But we'll see. Even some of those boxes packed by the packers seem to have suffered some of the same issues. Note that the packers and the movers were two different groups of people. I also discovered that packing my own boxes rendered those things uninsured in the move, as the packers could not guarantee I had packed them properly.

The second lesson I learned was to make sure that every box gets labeled more thoroughly than they actually were. "Garage contents" could, for example, range from gardening equipment to bike tools or beach chairs- it it going to be fun unpacking it all! I have already tried to find some things and had to break into several boxes- and that was just in the boxes in the apartment alone.

I also had to bring everything down from the loft space- not so easily done by one person alone. I did however find some of the original boxes were useful as they seem to protect some things better with their original packing materials.

The packers arrived bright and early and set to work in their assigned areas. That is also when you suddenly see things that should not be packed up (like used open bars of soap) or things that really should be packed in a more logical place but happened to be put away in the wrong place and therefore we won't find them again until we unpack a box and get a big surprise.

By lunchtime the packers seemed to be almost done, but then the movers arrived early with the truck they had to use to shuttle everything to the 18 wheeler. They were not able to drive the 18 wheeler around Berkeley Lake... My main regret there was that I was not able to see how they packed everything for the actual drive across the country (like the fragile boxes stacked near the bottom of the piles...)

The packers finally left at 4 pm and the movers finished their first shuttle load and I was free to go to bed very early.

The next day the packers came back and finished packing up the house and had left by noon. I did a final clean and check up of the house and then found three drawers of cutlery in the kitchen... I have no idea how we all missed them except they were from the kitchen island and we were using it as a desk to sign everything. I ended up having to pack an extra bag to bring back on the plane. I even put a note inside to warn the airport screeners just in case as there were all of my sharp knives in there!

It was strange because I didn't really feel much about leaving the house- I suppose it was because we were all (Dick, Pepper and I) in California. The hardest thing was that every time I was in the house I kept expecting to see our dear sweet Petey.

We actually closed on the house on May 25th.


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