Finally... what seems to be progress. I have emptied one room, the worst room at the apartment. My office was the second bedroom. Small room but if you work from home and do something creative you know you need a lot of paper related stuff. And I had it packed in. So my clothes are now hanging in a newly painted closet at the condo and all my office is torn down and in boxes here also. Unfortunately I can't put that together until 3 different sets of construction people have come and gone. Hopefully all by the end of the month. If not we move anyway...

This last year has really taught me to take it one day at a time and just do the best you can with it. Not an easy lesson for a planner like me.

The move continues...

Every day is moving day here is some shape or form. Saturday we went home and got our stuff that was in storage and came back to Madison and unloaded. Lots of help from people on each end. Our condo is smallish... About 650 sq ft on each level. So the basement level or the Man Cave is full of shelving and boxes. Eventually this will be John's work space and a viewing room. I hate basements but am thrilled to have John have so much usable space. As we have looked at new fabulous condos we are always shocked at the general lack of storage space. So for the first time I am really happy to have a nice sized basement.

The square footage of this condo reminds me a lot of the house we built in Cedar Rapids. It was smallish and laid out in the way we lived. This space feels even more efficient, not a lot of rooms but good sized rooms and everything is very open.

Windows and flooring is ordered. Windows are specially made so we wait there. Next things are to get our apartment rented so we can get out of that lease and to get someone in here to take out a small wall. And to keep moving stuff from our apartment to the condo.

The unpacking continues....

We are still unpacking... 8 days of unpacking now. But we are hanging photos and the rooms are set up and all the electronics are working. Little piles of stuff in each room to deal with. And we like it tidy so there must be homes for every last little thing.

This week we will go see my folks, go to Dubuque on Saturday for a bridal shower for John's family and I hope to actually get back to work. I think it has been at least 6 weeks.

Madison is a city of neighborhoods with very active neighborhood associations which give each area a different feel. We had lunch at Atwoodfest. The Atwood neighborhood was having a street festival. We stood there a minute taking it all in... hippies young and old and the scent of patchouli. Had some great street food and came home to continue with the unpacking.

We live in the First Settlement neighborhood. There are 6 Capitol neighborhoods. I can look down from my office and see the plaque for the first cabin in 1837.

And shortly we are off to another desirable neighborhood on Monroe St. It is where our gas grill resides. We are grilling out with our friends Jane and Steve. Got 2 chicken kabobs from Ken's Meat Market. They are the best I've eaten-- and these 2 kabobs will easily feed the 4 of us.

The Land of Shit 'o ree...

Ohmigod we have a lot of stuff and a very small space. John took every single kitchen item layed them all out, I Goodwilled what I could and he wedged the rest into the kitchen. The bedroom is together. It is 10.5 x 12 so we went out and bought a cheap-o George Jetson pedestal to hold the way too big TV. We needed that because the long narrow chest of drawers that the TV would have sat on is in the office (2nd bedroom). It is where the purple couch would have been. OK so you get the picture.

Actually while small it is what an apartment is and certainly an apartment in a DT of a city. This is spacious compared to Matt's old digs in London. And now that we are in I am amazed at what we did. We emptied a 2600 sq ft house with a 14x22 ft porch, 3 car garage and a full basement into 2 cars, a 26 ft U-Haul and a 10x15 storage unit. I think that is pretty amazing.

We have a lovely patio and surprisingly good sized bathrooms. My desk is up and tomorrow I tackle the office space. John has done an amazingly good job orchestrating the move. So far only one thing broke and I packed it. But we have no knives, none. John emailed the new owners to check the knife drawer and send it on.

Today we had lunch on the Capitol Square. They have live music on Tuesdays on our corner of the square. We continuously marvel that we are HERE and at the abundance of pretty much everything. At every turn we are looking at a cool hair salon or another interesting restaurant.

Soon I will take some pictures of our new neighborhood.

Other things of interest... John dropped off his contract to the talent agency and his head shots (comp card) will be done soon. He had to form a company to do this. It is called Walks, Talks and Chews Gum. Cute.

And soon there will be a new, much improved blog. I am very excited about this. As soon as I can I will make some fun graphics and get this up. I will be blogging with a interesting and fun friend who is a writer and lives in Boulder. She writes. I draw and I live in Madison. The blog is "I write, she draws. She draws I write."

That is it from here... I promise I will walk my new neighborhood and put up some fun photos.

Welcome Home!

We spent thursday nite with our friends Rob and Jean who gave us a bed and a lovely meal out on their deck. It was soothing and peaceful and I was so tired I could barely form complete sentences. Up early the next morning and home to clean out the fridge, take one last look, hook John's car up to the 26" U-Haul and leave town. Arrived in Madison 3 hours later and met up with Matt and Ryan (John's sons) and Mike and Dan (John's high school buddy's from Iowa). We did get to choose apartment and picked the bigger of the 2-- 1,072 sq ft. The guys unloaded as I stayed in the apartment trying to put a bathroom together for showers later.

All of the sudden the steady stream of boxes ended and I see no one for quite a while until John comes flying in wanting to know if I know where his tools are. Not a good thing. The purple couch (Ethan Allen nubuk leather with a queen hide-a-bed with springs in the mattress) was stuck in the stairwell. After some negotiating we give the couch to Ryan and it goes back down the stairwell. (Neither couch would fit in the elevator.)

Each trip up I am told that we have WAY too much stuff and it will never fit in the apartment. That is partially true. We have VERY small bedrooms, but nice bathrooms and a nice size deck. The living area will be used just for a livingroom, we are skipping a table for now. We can make it work.

Lots of doors in a small space so John started by taking our bedroom door off and putting it in our storage unit. We will go somewhere and buy different wire shelving for the closets so we can get 2 rows of clothes in. We are operating under the premise that it will be better to apologize later than to ask now.

We could only get one parking space so we don't know where we will put the second car. But everything will just fall in place.

Saturday AM we got up and crawled thru the boxes and went to the farmer's market. We really are less than 2 blocks from the Capitol. As I stepped onto the square I had the same feeling I had on my first day in Paris... that I FINALLY got here.

Last night we went out to try and find a internet hook up (ours is not working yet) but instead checked out this little Costa Rican place we can see from our bedroom window. It's a restaurant/bar/hostal. The photo does not show the Christmas tree lights. John told the owner that we had just moved to Madison the day before... and he said Welcome home.

Day 4

Well WE certainly had the right moving team. Yesterday morning John moved all the boxes out of the house and into the garage before the rain hit.

The U-Haul people offered that we could get the truck early at 5pm instead of this morning. John put an email out to the neighborhood men to ask for help moving the really heavy pieces. (Why is it that good furniture weights so much? Cheap stuff not so much.) 4 strong, young guys came and did the heavy lifting and then just kept going. In 3 hours the truck was packed.

So today we clean and pack up the odd stuff left in each room and wedge that in the truck and cars.

Still have things up in the air... as of yesterday the apartment we want had not had the carpet replaced. But the office is not open on Saturday. So we need to go there Friday to pay and get a key. But darling Kim from the management office said she has another one that is ready to go and maybe we would like that. So now we think we should drive everything there look at both and decide. If we want the original one we find a hotel and wait until hopefully Monday to move in. Of course we have 4 helpers on that end that need coordination also.

We don't need to be here to close if we can find our realtor and sign papers.

Anyway that is all I know as of right now. Things change here minute by minute as you can tell.

My emailing may be sporatic over the next couple days so if you don't see a blog don't worry I just may be somewhere without a internet connection, or my computer is in a trunk somewhere.

As Garrison Keillor says, “Be well, do good work and keep in touch.”

I say, Don't ever move. Die in your house and leave the mess for your kids.

Day 5

We are watching the weather and it is scattered thunderstorms everyday for the next 7 days. Today is possible hail. We get the truck tonight at 5. John is hoping to get the monsterously heavy Ethan Allen purple leather couch loaded tonight.

Wet will be a big problem for us as we have a slanted driveway which means we can't butt the truck to the garage. And most furniture has to go out the TV room or front door and can't go out thru the garage.

Today we will spend the day shrinkwrapping furniture and getting what we can in the garage in prep for the move. It will also help to look at all of it in one place and make sure it will all go on the 26" truck. I guess if that doesn't work we put a trailer behind the truck.

Must get to work before the rain hits.

Today Kim from The Madison Mark is back from her little holiday. We of course hope to hear for sure that we have the apartment and can move in Friday. If that does not happen than we need to rethink things....

Day 6

Great gift we got from the wonderful neighbors and neighborhood kids.

More packing... John can get the U-Haul truck at 5pm tomorrow... hope to learn tomorrow that we have the apartment for sure and can get into it since we have the truck and are loading on Thursday...