Just Checking In

Somehow it is nearing the last part of January and I haven’t sat down even once to write a post. Crazy times here in my part of the world. Last we chatted, there was a snow storm and power outage in our community. Well, let’s just say it was one crazy time. So many people were out of power, propane, internet and cell service for days, turning into weeks. In some ways, the huge annoyance of it all really brought people together. There were lots of people who literally could not get out off their property. People who had no heat or way to cook. This lasted so long. One woman in our area started cooking for others and just had locals sign up to help or to receive food as needed. She really amazed me. Within a short time, she had a team of people who drove to other parts of the area and delivered hot meals. There was also a team of men who had chainsaws and volunteered to chop trees that were blocking driveways or leaning on rooftops. Yep, quite the crazy time but people rallied.

My parents were without power for 12 days. That is a long, long time to live with wood stove heat and a little generator to keep the fridge cold. They slept at our house but their days without power were long and difficult. The silver lining was we got to have some lovely dinners shared with my mom and dad. It was one long slumber party! We had lots of long chats about our impending move to the state of Washington and now my parents are considering moving up there too! Yahoo!!

Checking out a map of the state of Washington.

Life is back on track now but there is so much to be cleaned up – anywhere I drive, I see yards with huge trees lying across the property. Piles and piles of debris are everywhere and the county is trying to keep up with all of this.

Ray and I have been sorting and purging so much stuff. How did we end up with all of this?? I have made trip after trip to donate carloads of items to the local thrift stores. Yet the garage is quickly filling with packed boxes. I would estimate we are 75% packed which feels good. We are using Pods to move – basically filling these storage containers which are then stored for us until we are at the next house. They will be delivered to that house when we request it. These make for an interesting moving process that is convenient and fairly affordable. Interior painting is done, and carpet cleaning is scheduled which means we are getting close to listing the house.

Julia in her happy place! Newborn piglets.

After way too much packing, cleaning and sorting, Ray and I decided to get away and go visit Julia. Her university is about 350 miles south so it’s a bit of a drive. But wow – what a difference it makes!

One of the animal units on campus.

Seeing green, rolling hills on every side were a refreshing change from our damaged hillsides. This was taken on a walk through the beef unit on campus.

Montana De Oro bluffs.

We also took a short drive to the beach and wandered the trail along this bluff. The waves were quite dramatic that morning! We took sandwiches and had a picnic on the beach after our walk.

Books, books everywhere!

In the late afternoon, Julia and I masked up and walked over to Phoenix Books, a used bookstore near the house we were renting. Is this crazy or what?!? This is just one corner but books were everywhere. Of course I found the quilting section and it was huge. The books were shelved so tightly it was quite difficult to look at them. The cookbook section was a lot of fun too. So many great books everywhere. Using great self-control, I bought only one thin book because anything I brought home would be one more thing to pack! The bookshop reminded me of a quilt fabric shop called Obie’s Country Store that I visited some years ago in Pennsylvania. It had the same weirdly crowded vibe. I wrote about it here.

After the long weekend, we are back at home and trying to get through a bit more packing. We meet with the realtor next week to make a plan for the next steps. Today I need to clean up the last bits in the sewing area. I have kept it somewhat available thinking I might have time to do a bit of sewing here and there but that has not happened. I think I will pack everything but one quilt I have been working on – just in case I can do a bit of FMQ on it.

To soothe that insistent need to be making something, I have been teaching myself to crochet in the evenings. YouTube is the best and I have been having fun watching tutorials and playing with yarn. It is relaxing and for me, it seems easier than knitting.

Leaving you with a picture of H, just before her first dance class. She is so excited to be taking dance with one of her neighborhood friends. What a sweet girl.

OK – time to wrap this up and get busy! Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Our area is still experiencing quite the post holiday surge. So wear those masks and be careful!

26 thoughts on “Just Checking In

  1. Pamela Dempsey

    I hope your parents are able to move as well, a great idea! Congrats on getting so much done 🙂

    Reply
  2. Roseanne

    Hi Bernie! Oh, how sweet that H can take some dance classes with her friend. I can hardly wait until we can experience that fun ourselves. What a nice visit that was with Julia! You two deserved a nice break, and I’m 100% certain that Julia enjoyed your visit as much as you did. Good luck with the rest of the packing and listing. I hope it sells quickly and with a nice solid over-asking offer. Twelve days without power!! Thank heavens you were nearby for your parents to lean on. Them moving to WA when you go sounds like a wise idea to me. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    Reply
  3. Wendy Tuma

    There is nothing that restores hope more than seeing people come together to help one another. Those winter storms are quite something, aren’t they. Beautiful and dangerous all at the same time. I was thinking about you the other day, and realized I needed to email you, so I’m happy to see this post! You have been really busy! Exciting to hear that your mom and dad may move to Washington, too. How nice that would be for all of you. Love that grin on Julia’s face with her little piglet, and H dancing is so cute – she’s growing so quickly!!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      We are really happy they are moving along with us. They want a smaller home now and this is a good time to do that. Less for them to take care of. But it is lots of work, even if they pay for movers, packers, etc. Yep, we will have quite a bit of family up there – so great!!

      Reply
  4. Sandra Walker

    We moved with a storage pod on our last (and it should BE the last) move and they are terrific. The best thing about moving is the purging. Love the photo of little H (when did she get so big?) and love hearing that your parents are contemplating moving too. The west coast of Turtle Island is just beautiful no matter what lines the white man divided it into 😉

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      We are very excited at the prospect of the move – I am just getting tired of so much packing. Even with giving lots away and throwing away junk, there is much to organize and pack! But we are getting there. I keep telling myself that!! Thanks for the encouragement!!

      Reply
  5. Carol Westover

    Oh goodness, I’m excited for you and can so identify with your ever-growing collection of boxes in your garage. Since 99% of my fabric has been packed away, I’ve begun volunteering with a Quilts For Kids group from Bakersfield. They make up kits for quilts and volunteers make the quilt and return it to them. The patterns are simple, quick and easy to make up. I too have a bit of yarn and crochet hooks under the end table next to my end of the couch in the living room. Like you, I have to have something to do with my hands while watching t.v. Love the photos of Julia’s campus. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      HiCarol – the kits are a great idea. Our guild has some community service quilts like this and it sure makes it simple. Thanks so much for contributing to the Quilts for Kids – that is wonderful!

      Reply
  6. Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts

    Glad to hear you’re all well! Moving is such a BIG thing, I love how organised and low-key you’re keeping it. Also, doesn’t it feel so good to get rid of things before a move – a big Spring clean that will set you up nicely for the new home. Stay well!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It is a huge process. The last two times we moved it was just within a couple of mile radius so I could slowly bring things over. This is one huge pack and load the trucks sort of thing.
      As for purging, yes. Who needs all of this anyway!? I hope I won’t just fill up the next house. Tell me I won’t! Please?!

      Reply
  7. Stitchin at Home

    Nice to hear that your parents are considering moving as well. I too prefer crocheting to knitting ( I can’t knit to save my life). I have two granddaughters that love dance, they do competitive dance.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I didn’t realize how different (skill wise) knitting and crochet actually are – Knitting is difficult for me but I am learning to crochet reasonably well. The stitches are simpler and maybe using just the one needle is better for me? I don’t know but it is more a fit for me. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Carole @ From My Carolina Home

    Glad you have weathered that storm! I know what it is like to be without power for days on end, and here that means the well isn’t pumping so no water either. Once was enough of that, so we bought a large generator so if the power is disrupted, I can still have water and sewing machines, LOL!! What a fun bookstore, the kind I can spend hours in just rummaging around. Lovely photos of your walk. Take care, and be safe with your move.

    Reply
  9. Mari

    Oh, Bernie, it’s so good to hear from you! I’m glad things are going well, even if they are really busy and kind of messy now. I’m sure all the hard work will pay off when you are on the market. Every box gets you closer to those kiddos! I’m glad Julia is doing well, too. Keep at it, and good luck with the crochet. I could use a scarf right now– it’s 19 degrees! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Yes – the temps out there are wicked cold! We are excited about the move and it will feel good to load the pods that are coming this week so we can judge where we truly are. Know what I mean?? The crochet is lots of fun. I rip out a lot of it because I am mostly practicing but still enjoyable.

      Reply
  10. Cheree Hull

    Oh that would be wonderful to have your parents move up there as well! Happy moving–I know all too well how much work it is, which why I’ve sworn it off for good…but still, there is always some excitement with having all things new–house, places and people to discover, etc. We went without power in one particular ice storm for 5+ days and that was plenty for me!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Five days is plenty – this was really terrible and some homes went even longer than my parents did. Ugh!
      We are really trying to pick our ‘forever’ home and hope we don’t move after this one! Crossing fingers!

      Reply
  11. Kathleen McCormick

    So much news! These winter storms have been doosies. I am so sorry for what people have to endure. I have never had more than 24 hours, at least that I remember, without power, and am grateful for that. On the island, we have a generator, just in case. Oh the packing!!!! What a job, and no wonder you only bought one book. Good luck with it all – it seems to be going as well as it can! Good news about your parents, too, that they will be closer.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi there, We do have a generator which is extremely helpful. I feel for homes without one. Ugh.
      It is going to be great to get through this whole moving process and back into normal life. I am really looking forward to finding our new house – now the unpacking…. that is a whole other thing. Yikes!!! Take care. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Emily

    Wow, sounds like quite the start to the new year! It’s so great to hear of your neighbors really pulling together. I hope all goes smoothly with the seemingly never-ending packing and the move!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Emily – January was surely a crazy month. It will be a busy time until we are settled in a new home. Packing does seem never ending – why is it that I think I have finished an area only to find items that were missed?? Someone is playing tricks on me! Sigh. Hope all is well with you and your family. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Betty

    Happy to hear things are moving along in a positive direction for you. Your reference to Obie”s made me chuckle. My friends & I were just there yesterday. The lady that owned it died unexpectedly in September. Very sad. Her sister has taken over & is attempting to sell off that extensive inventory. She is so nice & sweet but with over 20,000 bolts of fabric it is going to take her years. My friends & I are doing out best to help her out with that. The best of luck to you & your hubby on your cross country move. Be safe .

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh my gosh Betty – I am so sorry to hear about Obie’s. That is such a quirky place and must have reflected the owner’s love of fabric. Her sister has a huge project ahead of her. I hope she is receiving lots and lots of ‘help’ from all of the Pennsylvania quilters!!
      As for the move, we are staying on the west coast. We will be moving from California to Washington state – so that makes it a little bit simpler. But still lots to be done! Take care.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.