Final day, then on our way

What a week.  Packers, more packers, big strong men to load the truck, furniture, and boxes bound for the Condo, plus more furniture and boxes to the PODS (one at Uncle GT’s and one in the Condo parking lot before hauling off to storage).  We cross our fingers that it all arrives safely.  And that we arrive safely.

It’s always hard to say goodbye.  The Bean has been doing that periodically since the late part of February.  Still, we are now down to the wire, and will leave tomorrow.  This is our final view of the house we called our home, the first and only for many of us.  It was a wonderful home, three floors and a basement, with a Widow’s walk on top and a huge yard. This is where the two nearby Grand Girls played.  This is where the Hitty Club met.  This will cease to be our home today. We hope whoever buys it lives happily ever after in it and is kind to our sweet neighbor cat, Henry, who we loved greatly.

Yes, we are sad to leave our home as well as family and most excellent friends behind.  Smidge would surely be a puddle of tears were it not for the fact that her dear friend Goobie is with us for the journey west.  Though Bean has been too busy to take many photos of the two during the pre-move time, she promises that many will be posted during our journey.  Because while we are sorry to leave, all of us are excited about the adventure and new home.  We have never even seen it, except in pictures, so it will be a thrill for us all.

Kestrel and Cooper came to visit on Sunday, and Bean let us out of hibernation long enough for a good visit with them.  Then it was back into hibernation for the duration.  That’s all of us, sitting on the huge crate that holds our Big House.


We surely will have a wonderful time with friends in Arkansas at the annual spring doll carving.  We know we will be welcomed by Auntie Glenda and Uncle GT in Washington.  We believe we will make lots of new friends in our new neighborhood and eventually in our new Doll Club.  But we will never forget those here who we hold dear in our hearts.  Always.

Thanks to all of you who made Virginia our special place.  Come and visit us, OK?

Snip out (for now)


Beginning the end of the beginning …

We are a swirl of color and motion this week, prepping for the packers who arrive today, and then M-W next week, followed hotly on Thursday by a truck with loaders.  Just making sure everyone is in the proper space is proving difficult.  Smidge has only just packed, and it was hard to contain her – typically, she wants to bring everything, but the Bean reminded her that Goobie was restricted to just one Snack Bag, and so was Smidge.  It’s an overstuffed Snack Bag, but she got everything in it she could.  We boys travel light – just the shirts on our backs.

Tuesday, Auntie Sara came to help again, and they report great progress has been made on the Third floor.  That is almost beyond expectations, though there still is a bit more to be done.

Wednesday, Bean’s Bestie (also a Sara) came.  They smashed down all the left-over cardboard boxes we no longer needed and smushed them into the recycle bin.  They also did a test-fit of things in the car/trunk.  Bean had calculated that some things should be with her at all times, such as the Hittys and, of course, us and the Rurukos.  Bean restricted herself, too: she was allotted 6 banker’s boxes (one with most of the Hittys and her mignonettes) plus a few other smallish containers in the back seat and on the floor; a small cooler and tote with snacks will be on the floor in front of the passenger seat; and we (the privileged ones) will be in a special box on the passenger seat itself.  Bean says she’ll leave the lid open for us during travels so we can climb out and see what’s what.  The trunk is reserved for all her carving tools, the giant suitcase filled with her beloved Dewees Cochran dolls, and her own suitcase, laptop, and pillow. The dashboard is reserved for Bean’s faux glow-in-the-dark rat, Hans, who always travels with her.

Thursday, Auntie Sara came to finish clearing the third floor, to empty cupboards, and help us into the box as she bore away Cousins Kestrel and Cooper.  I believe I saw Pinkly shed a few tears as Cooper left.  The packers today will be doing the dolls, so it’s not safe here for any of us. Time for me to jump into the special travel box and hightail it for the front seat.  It would be horrible to get left in the house where packers ….  It does not bear thinking about.

I’m taking my laptop with me, of course.

Men, women, and dollies at work

The week that was….was.  Over, done, and a new week nearly begun, at least by the calendar on Sunday.

The landscapers have pulled out the offensive mess we used to call the privacy hedge that got scalped, tilled the soil, planted new bayberry bushes that will some day grow back into a privacy hedge, and mulched it.  Not quite what it used to be, but looks nice if you don’t mind feeling a bit invaded with all eyes now looking through the hedge.  But it’s done and was gratis thanks to the company owning up to their mistakes.  The new owner probably won’t know the difference anyway.

The worker bees are also busy making some final repairs and upgrades to the exterior of the house.  Uncle GT did a great job on the inside when he was here, so we’re now looking at just a few more days of work and then…yes, then.

Meanwhile, we are still purging, organizing, and donating like crazy, though we all see progress of sorts, some days more than others.  Bean says you really have to tear things apart before you can put them back together.  I think it’s the tearing apart part that makes all of us a wee bit nervous.

One week from today, the packers will be here.  They will do the dolls that day, which means the Hitty room and all the tiny items in the houses there, including ours.  As we struggle to make sure we take only what we need, Kele insist his hammock bed must go, so go it will.  The Hittys, or most of them, are already in hibernation in their box.  I say most because the Bean included the Mignonettes, and as a result, not all the Hittys made it into the box.  However, she says there are still two boxes for filling yet, and that they need not worry – they and the Rurukos will be safely transported by her, as will the rather immense suitcase filled with her large and beloved Dewees Cochran dolls.  Not sure how she’s also cramming in all her carving tools and …oh yes, her clothing …but we have faith she’ll prevail.  Mr. Happy has always said that the Bean has calibrated eyes and can make sure that everything she needs and expects to fit somewhere actually will.

The Bean, Smidge, and Goobie are off on a wee break today for lunch with Goobie’s Mama Marie and three other friends, the second Marie, Mary, and Susan in Williamsburg.  Kele and I are holding down the fort with the Rurukos (which still includes Cousins Kestrel and Cooper Herbert, Ruruko brother and sister twins belonging to Auntie Sara).  It is comforting to still have them with us. I’m pretty sure that Pinkly is glad too – she and Cooper seem to have something going.

The time is going quickly.  Before you know it, it will be April 14 and we’ll be off on our journey and a true adventure.

Meanwhile, be stalwart, fellow dollies of the house: we can do this as a team.


And then the 4th nor’easter….

So there we were, things humming along nicely, items being sorted, eBay sales (all 65 listings) concluded, paid for, packaged, and delivered unto the postal, a class worth of papers tutored plus five more through the OWL, laundry done, caulking, scraping, painting, grocery shopping….and then it all came to a wet, cold, screeching halt when the snow fell on Wednesday.  The photo above was just the beginning. Well, all the indoor stuff was still possible, but driving to the dump or Goodwill, not so much.

Auntie Glenda, Pip, and Amalynn came last Thursday evening, and Uncle GT came early Sunday morning.  We were also visited on Saturday and Sunday last weekend by young Bean, Auntie Sara and her little bean girls.  Everyone has pitched in to help, but we get stalled now and then.  That’s what happened Wednesday: stall time.  All the schools closed, and life came to a screeching halt.  Sadness.  The Bean said she didn’t mind – she’s been feeling somewhat poorly due to her medical issues, and had to cancel something she looked forward to doing on Tuesday, so a spare day of rest was nothing she’d complain about.

Our friend Goobie is here with us.  Smidge and the Bean picked her up last Wednesday.  She is traveling with Smidge to the Pacific Northwest, so will be with us the rest of the time here plus during the carving workshop in Arkansas in April, and then on to our final destination.  It’s nice to have a bit of the familiar with us.  We promised her Mama Marie that we’d send her back home on the Postal Bus once we settled in a bit.  It was very kind of her to allow Goobie to come with us.  After her visit with us last year for almost three months, she feels like family…another sister.  And of course Kestrel and Cooper came – I think Cooper is just here to flirt with Pinkly.The gang is all here

Then we took an unfortunately close look at the calendar and were shocked to see that, once Auntie Glenda and Uncle GT go home on Sunday, we have slightly less than three weeks left, a full week of that time taken up by packers and movers.  We panicked.  We are still panicked.  We are shocked, too.  How did that happen so quickly? Where did the time go?

I can actually feel my brain spinning inside my head.

Starting the clock: Week 4, counting down

So last week we had the giant garage sale…and this week, we’re doing it all over again.  It was dark, dank, and cold, so cold we thought we had vision issues when white speckles appeared before our eyes.  No detached retinas – it was SNOWING!

The Hoomans kept running inside to get warm, and we dollies decided inside was safer – we feared our resin might actually crack.  A few folks came to the sale despite the gloom and chill, but it was definitely not the success we had hoped it would be.  Bean thinks she might list the big stuff separately on Craig’s list, and possibly advertise the actual garage sale again for next weekend.  She’s not yet done this, but she’s in deep thought.

We got to spend the day inside where it was warmer with cousin Kestrel, who came to keep us company and guard us to be sure we were not sold off.  Only one many broke into the house, but Bean’s bestie, SaraCD, was pretty much right behind him and heard him say when he hit the kitchen, “I feel as if I’m intruding.”  Yup, you were.  We hid in the dolly room, but Smidge was exposed, along with several woodens.  Weird what people will do.  The Bean saw it happen from afar, but thought there might be rescue in the form of other helpers, which there was. Kestrel keeping us safe

On Thursday, Bean and Smidge went to the final doll club meeting in Williamsburg for the day, and then that night Bean, Auntie Sara, Kestrel, and Smidge picked up Auntie Glenda and Cousins Pip and Amalynn at the airport.  They have come to help.  Uncle GT will arrive on the red eye Sunday AM because he had to compete in an archery tournament on Saturday so couldn’t come at the same time.  We are hopeful he did well. He probably did – he’s a good archer.

So we are about to enter week 4, counting down to the final day here.  Everyone is girding their loins and preparing for battle.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Stay tuned.

Sale week…

Note: Parts of this post are being written early.  Right now, we’re taking a wee break before disappearing into the new mess we used to call the living room of Bean’s house. 

On Tuesday evening, the Bean and Auntie Sara dragged down boxes and bags of stuff from the third floor to be hauled out for the Garage sale (scheduled for Saturday), but it was raining and dark, so it all had to stay in the living room.  The garage is a separate building, three bays plus and living quarters over it.  So after it was all down, the Bean got it into her head to sort through a couple of bins…well, that went horribly wrong.  Now she has two large and empty bins and also piles ~nay, small mountains~ of American Girl doll clothes everywhere.  We had to go to the grocers to procure a giant-sized box of gallon Zip Loc bags into which we must organize the clothing.  “We” does not mean me.

After all that, Bean changed her mind about what to do with the clothing, and she decided she was going to put them up for sale on eBay, not in the garage sale.  So now that means taking the time to photograph each outfit and then to list it for sale.  Oh my.  Kele and I have decided to stay out of it entirely.  Smidge begged us to tie a safety line around her waist so we can haul her out if necessary.  She’s not into mountain climbing.

Speaking of Smidge (and an update on our timetable), we are down to the final five weeks prior to “we don’t live here any more.”  To make it more fun for all of us, the Bean granted Smidge permission to invite her Bestie, Voir de Wizzy, from Minnesota to come and travel cross-country with us to see our new home.  Sadly, the Voir is busy with nursing duties and a home remodel, so she can’t make it.  Smidge was sorely disappointed until the Bean came up with another idea: invite Goobie.

You may recall, Goobie is from Yorktown, VA, and she stayed a few months with us last year when her Mama Marie was in California.  The invitation included passage back home for Goobie plus a carving stop along the way.  I believe Goobie was with us last spring when we were in Arkansas carving, so it’s familiar territory. And after requesting permission from Mama Marie … Goobie said YES!!  

Smidge has been all a-twitter, hunting down sleeping bags for them and such.  We all need those, but so far we’ve only found three, and then we promptly lost the third, so we’re down to two definite. Sigh.  That’s lately been the story of our lives.  We find something, then lose it and have to find it all over again.  We lost two dollies this week, but finally located their hiding spot Tuesday afternoon, hunkered down behind some other dollies.  We gave them the blue ribbon for winning that hide-and-seek game!

Anyway, due to convenience, we (this “we” means Smidge and the Bean) picked up Goobie at doll club on Thursday. Having Goobie with her will distract Smidge so she won’t feel so sad about leaving. It was Bean’s last club attendance since she’ll be gone by the April meeting, which makes her sad.  Bean also refuses to think about it – she’ll think about meeting new dolly people near our new home. She won’t forget these friends she’s leaving behind, but instead embrace the strangers, who are simply friends she hasn’t yet met.

But first we focus on the big Garage Sale.  It’s on Saturday ~ tomorrow ~ from 8-2, and we’ve engaged friends and relatives to come help wrangle the hoards we hope will show up.  The Bean posted the sale to three or four online selling sites for the area and will put up signs.  She posted one at the drive on Wednesday, but has others for the corner and for the medians that are two blocks away on major roads in two directions. Those she’ll get out this afternoon.  Her friend also came on Wednesday to haul stuff from the house into the garage and then help arrange it all, helping to free the living room of all but the clothing mountains.  Said friend will be coming back tonight. I was told that the Garage is an unmanageable mess that needs sorting badly…

And most everything in it badly needs selling.  Purge purge purge!  Sell sell sell!

Did I mention that this entire moving process is becoming quite tiresome?

It’s March, and time… well, you know.

What happened to February – it was just here a couple of days ago! Farewell, February.

Now even I am starting to panic just a little over the move…it’s just coming at us so fast.  We thought we had time, we though we were doing all the stuff that needed doing, but yet…not so much as we thought.  Only five weeks from today, the first fleet of packers shows up. It’s feeling pretty overwhelming this week, but we plod along because it’s all we can do.

The Bean is saying her goodbyes to friends.  She says it’s easier to do now when she’s not totally overwhelmed and moving is right there.  By saying it early, she has the sense of “I’ll see you again soon” rather than “this is the final time.”  She says that is helpful and makes it less sad.  Last week, she had lunch and said goodbye to a friend of 30 years.  This week she said goodbye to two friends, one a friend of 12 years, and one of 23 years, her former professor and mentor who became a colleague and friend. She said knowing it was possibly the last time they would see each other, was harder as she gets closer to the last day, but all have promised to keep in touch, as they have over the years.  Friendship is a wonderful thing – years can pass, but true friends can simply pick up again where they left off as if no time at all has passed.

Our March (the month) came in like a wet lamb yesterday morning, but by this morning the March winds had made themselves known and were howling like a wolf at the door.  Hello March.  Trying to make sure we knew you were here?  Supposedly this is a good month to fly kites, but I think the winds are so strong they would simply rip it right out of your hands.

Next weekend, we are having our Garage sale.  We are not, of course, at all ready for it, though we’ve been preparing for some time.  We’ve been stashing stuff out there for months now, but you can’t even see half of it because there is so much other stuff in the way.  The bean took some photos of some of the bigger items she could access there and in the house, where some furniture is that must go, but there is a lot more to be done to prep, and nothing is priced.

She’ll take something to the garage, but discover boxes of stuff she still must go through, so they come back inside.  One out, two in.  Sigh. The garage was where a lot of stuff from her mom’s house ended up, and it never got entirely sorted.  Now everything must be sorted.  She keeps finding boxes and bins of old love letters between her parents (she says she can’t bring herself to read those but hasn’t yet had the courage to recycle them either) and photographs, which are old and smelly.  Who needs pictures of people we don’t even know?  Half are not family but friends of long deceased relatives, and even when there is a name on the back of the picture, it doesn’t help.  The actual relatives are typically recognizable to the Bean, who’s good with facial recognition, if not names.  LOL.  She does know family faces and names, but some photos are truly horrid, as old photos tend to be.  We’re hoping to consolidate them prior to the move, and get rid of those that are too faded or with people and places we don’t know.  Those would be clutter, not treasure.  Stinky, old, moldy clutter.

And so we march stoically on…


Time’s a wasting

There is nothing like a bit of pressure to push us to greater heights…and hopefully get us to and over the line. But there are times when we push too hard and take on too much, also because of the pressure.

We have a moving date to leaving town, but a full 8 days before said date, the packers will show up and begin the process.  The Bean is thinking that since they start on a Friday, then take the weekend off, she should use that weekend to pack up what she’s taking with her and load the car if she can.  Actually, I believe that she really wants to just leave town and hope they do the rest of it properly without her. But I know she wouldn’t do that.  She’s already talking about getting snacks and drinks to feed the workers and such. Right now, I think she’s just afraid that she won’t have things organized before they show up.

This past Monday was the final Capital City Hitty Club of Virginia, at least with Bean as hostess here at our house.  It will continue on with another person taking the helm in Williamsburg/Yorktown, though we are unsure whether all of those who have been so faithful can continue to come to all the meetings because the new destination will be another hour further from a few of them, and it’s hard to drive three hours to a four-hour meeting (makes for a 10-hour day), even if it only happens once every three months.  But the new leader hopes to bring in a few other people from the local UFDC affiliated doll club that the Bean and several of the others belong to, so…  Maybe the group will split and the ones who will end up too far to come will start a spin-off in the northern part of the state.  That would be excellent.

The good news is that Bean’s son and dearest Daughter-in-Law (Auntie Glenda) will be coming late next month to help give the final push to the finish line before the move.  Gives them a chance to see Auntie Sara and her mini-beans while having a place to stay (our house).  That was last week’s secret, not wanting to overshare before Auntie Glenda could tell Auntie Sara the news herself.  It has been done, and we all look forward to their visit and their help.

Bean had a lovely lunch today with a very old friend – like an almost 30 year friend – and her daughter.  She’s filling her social calendar like nobody’s business.  Everyone wants to say good bye.  She needs to get it done now so that she won’t have to do it right when things get extra “hairy” as she would say.  And she needed the break today too.  She’s got two more farewells scheduled for next week.  Packers arrive, 6 weeks from tomorrow.  Hope she has a very limited supply of friends to lunch and coffee with.

Dolls have been flying out the door, off to their new owners courtesy of the Evil Bay.  Bean says Smidge, Kele, and me are not dolls – we’re just little resin people, so must stick close to her.  We (and the Rurukos) along with the Hittys will be traveling with her on the long drive.

It’s good to feel that special.




Valentine week

Wishing all our friends and family a slightly belated happy Valentine’s Day. Being in the throes of preparing for the big move to the Pacific Northwest, we could easily overlook the days of the week and holidays, but we managed to remember this one.  Since we are leaving here on the 14th of April, Valentine’s Day marked the beginning of the 2 month countdown to departure.  By May, we will have transformed from Virginians to Washingtonians.

We got some very exciting news this week, but because of a promise the Bean made, we can’t share it yet.  But it is great news, and soon we hope that we can tell everyone.  Smidge is jumping up and down with excitement, but that’s all I can say.

Yesterday was Doll Club, one of the Bean’s final two meetings, and Monday is Hitty Club at the house, the final one.  It’s definitely something the Bean will miss.  She hopes to start another Hitty Club in Washington, and she’s already put out feelers for a new UFDC affiliated doll club near our new home out there.

We dollies never realized how much there was to do to prepare for this sort of long distance move.  The Bean’s brain must be in “Exploder Mode” to keep everything straight.  She has set up a new bank account with a nation-wide bank that has a location only a few blocks from the new house.  Her checks with the new address arrived this week, and she’s mailed off the request to have monthly payments for the HOA fees withdrawn automatically and hopes to do the same for the utilities by the end of next week.  She rather easily got her automatic deposit pay from her jobs at the University transferred to the new bank, but it’s a much slower process to get auto deposits switched for her Social Security checks.  She told me that everything feels hard some days, but this one seemed extra hard.  I’m personally impressed she has even thought of these things in advance of the move.  By the time she gets there, it will all be in place and humming along.  Bean says she sometimes lies awake at night and worries she is forgetting something.  I told her she might be forgetting to breathe.

So on we go, pushing to purge and organize ourselves in preparation for the move…only 8.5 weeks to go.

Everyone, please BREATHE!




…on go our lives

The Bean goes through emotional ups and downs. Every day is a new tug of war, it seems.  She has finally secured a worker to do the repairs, mostly small, around the house to ready it for sale … or so she hopes.  He is the fifth one to come and look at the scope of things.  He came highly recommended, and has thus far followed through.  She sorta bribed him with the promise of a recommendation to her Real Estate friend, who is always looking for someone to do work just prior to a house closing.  We shall see.  Wonder if he can do hedges?

There is still no resolution for the outside hedge beheading of last week.  After much arguing with Mr. Bean over the best solution so as not to pay out good money after bad to those who did the deed in the first place, Bean finally threw up her hands and declared she would not speak of it any more: he could figure it out himself. So of course nothing has been done and she’s forced to see it daily from the large kitchen windows.  😦

On Wednesday, Miss Bean took the day off work and helped wrangle stuff out of the attic so it could be reviewed for eBay auction or the yard sale next month.  They sorted a bit more and then packed up boxes with books from a huge case to be taken to the Goodwill.  We should probably get Goodwill medals or something for all we have donated.  This weekend, someone is coming to tote away the patio table and chairs/umbrella. Progress.

Now all this eBay listing is mostly fruitful, but it takes a lot of time to do it, and it makes one heck of a mess in the meantime.  The dining room is full of boxes filled with dolls and some empty but waiting to be utilized for shipping.  Bean has spent many hours taking photos, writing up eBay listings on the computer, and boxing, addressing, and driving to and from the post office.  There is more to come, of course – it really never ends.  And yet, there is a deadline.  That’s probably not helping her stress level.

We (Cousin Smidge, Kele, and I) are pretty well moved into our Big House.  A few minor final touches are probably needed, but we are close to done.  It’s more a matter of neatening things up at this point.  We will sell off Smidge’s apartment and probably my Breadbox.  We will miss our former homes, but it’s best in the long run to say goodbye. New places and adventures await up.

At this point, Smidge, Kele, and I are the Bean’s moral support and therapists.  We will all survive.

To quote Susan from Miracle on 34th Street, “I believe…I believe…I believe….”