June 25, 2008

Moving Update 6/24

After last Friday, there is a happy hollowness in our house.

closet 1    A SPACE in the closet!

closet 2    And another!

PC room    Empty space in PC room?

green room    Whole empty room?

But from this week on, I'm going to find out how much stuff is left (huge amount) in this emptiness.  Wrapping up things is the hardest part.

And there's my daughter's birthday party on this Sunday.  Some more shopping on the stuff I know is going into trash immediately after the BIG day.  
It's OK.  This is the first and last opportunity for her to spend some time with all her friends here in the USA.  I am glad to make a huge waste in order to make the moment special.  Forget "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."
.... OK, maybe.

What I did yesterday;
*Got helium balloon kits and stuffs from party store.
*Got water (in half pint bottles) and juice boxes from H.E.B.
*Got chicken tamales and Asian salad kit from H.E.B. and called it a dinner.

What I did today;
*Looked up CarMax site and downloaded "what to bring to sell your car" list.
*Unplugged MacBook when I heard the first sound of a thunderstorm.
*Daydreamed what to buy at the yarn stores in Toronto.

17 days to the final shipment
20 days in Texas
30 days in America

June 21, 2008

Moving Update 6/20

Big day come.  And gone.

They are pro.  They came at 9:00 am flat and done and gone at 12:30pm.  I had made 19 boxes myself, and the last box was numbered 102.  


I got my copy of Eclectic Sole today. 

Another woo-hoo.

21 days to the final shipment
24 days in Texas
34 days in America

June 20, 2008

Moving Update 6/19

What my husband and I did today;

*Ordered some books and DVDs from Amazon.com. (Yes, I am an idiot.)
*Packed my iMac. He (well, it has a name and it's a male name) is going to retire from housekeeping jobs and spend the rest of his life as my daughter's playmate.
*Packed my husband's clothes. 
*Packed my daughter's toys and books that she decided to send first. (Last evening she did a very good job sifting almost all her books to three piles, "say bye-bye", "send first", "stay and send later."  Amazing.  I am a lucky mom to have such a smart girl.)
*Moved the stuff which is going to stay to "Stay" area of the house.  We learned a lot about mistakenly sent stuffs when we moved here from Japan (like my husband's can't-believe-sized favorite soccer team flag. Before we noticed, it had been packed and numbered and sent.  In spite of that we were so determined to throw it away. It still is in our possession.)
*Passed some baby stuff to my friend's baby girl.

And I am going to stay up a little more to mark kitchen cabinet door as "Ship" or "Stay" to make it clear its contents are to be shipped or stay.

It is going to be a long night.   Movers are coming 9 o'clock in the morning.

1 day to the 1st shipment
22 days to the final shipment
25 days in Texas
35 days in America

June 19, 2008

Moving Update 6/18

What I did yesterday and today.

*Yesterday, I was down all day.  I had 100.4°F (38.6℃) fever when I woke up.  My husband took care of everything about daily life (daughter's preschool drop off & pick up, laundry, cooking.) 
*Today, my fever broke down to 98.4°F(36.9℃). I believe I just had a simple viral infection, means it goes down its way in three days, and take a couple of DayQuil and work.
*We made decisions about remodel of our house in Kyoto.  We are going to have a big (standard American size) gas oven and dish washer in the kitchen.  Exciting.
*Divided pots and pans and plates to "ship" pile and "stay" pile.  Well, it's not finished, but almost.
*Not done, but am going to work with my daughter through her toys & books to figure out which one goes "ship first and let us wait in Japan" pile, which one goes "stay with us and come to Japan later" pile, and which one goes "maybe bye bye" pile.

Tomorrow, my husband will take a day off and join me to get ready for the shipping.  

2 days to the 1st shipment
23 days to the final shipment
26 days in Texas
36 days in America

June 17, 2008

Moving Update 6/16

What I did today.

*Packed all of our cookbooks  (three tiers full).  Except the ones my husband might use for baking.  He is the baker in our house.  His specialty?
crème brûlée
crème brûlée.
*Marked all knitting and cooking magazines as "Ship 6/20".
*Picked up the sock yarns I am carrying with me during the travel.
*I think I got a flu.  I managed to pick up my daughter at preschool, cooked dinner and send a few e-mails.
My throat hurts.  My knees hurt.  I'm going to take a medicine (apple flavored "dissolve in hot water and sip" type one) and go to bed. 

4 days to the 1st shipment
25 days to the final shipment
28 days in Texas
38 days in America

June 16, 2008

Stash Management

Moving made me think about managing my stash.

It's not so huge, and every skein of yarn has its assigned project.  Well, almost all of them do.
But still, it is likely to take me more than two years to use up all of them for sure.  Of course, I have stashed up sock yarns because it's so hard to find them in Japan.  They are not to meant to be used up so quickly. 

And there are more than just yarn.  I quilt from time to time.  I can't just throw away old clothes, so I keep them to make quilts.  My "quilting fabric" stash is nothing more than torn-up shirts.  I have a large plastic pocket binder full of fake-fur fabric to make small stuffed dogs, too.  And some thick strings to make Chinese-style knot accessaries.  My spinning stuff is very small.  Just two drop spindles and 4-5 oz. of roving.  
Each of them are not huge, but they pile up.

Packing several large (medium, according to the moving company, but it's large enough for my daughter to play hide-and-seek) box of yarn and fabric makes me think about "saving."
They are heavy.  Some of my yarn and fabric came with me when we moved to the USA five years ago, and go back again without being used.  How much extra carbon emission did I make to transport them overseas?  How much money did I save not buying fabric from stores? 
Of course there's "keepsake" meaning in making quilts from my daughter's baby cloths.  But will we use the finished quilts?  How long would it take me to make them?

Yet, I just can't throw them away.  I just pack whatever I have and bring them with me, wherever I go.  All I can do is to recognize how big my stash is.   I'll start with yarn.  Thanks, Ravelry.  As soon as I settle in our house in Kyoto, I will weigh all fabrics I have.  
Scary, but I can do it.  I am a big girl.

June 15, 2008

When I grow up....

Today (June 14th, 2008) is World Wide Knit In Public Day.  I thought it is like Cinco de Mayo (no matter what day of the week it is, the date is fixed), but looks more like a Fathers' Day (set as particular day of the week of the month, like second Saturday of June in case of WWKIP day.)


I couldn't make it to the nearby event.  It's not that I had an emergency hospital visit or anything.  I just couldn't find out enough reason in my participation to the event, to take my daughter, who was already tired from visiting farmers' market earlier (not so early, like 9:00 to 9:30) in the morning, to the crowd.

I really wanted to go, I actually brought my knitting bag to the farmers' market, intended to go to the event directly from there.  But, I found a basket of beautiful blackberries I wouldn't leave in the car on a sunny June day in Texas, so I had to go home to put it in the fridge (or at least on the kitchen counter).  When we got home, I remembered I had a load of laundry to take care of and bananas to be baked into banana bread (they were way past over-ripen, I threw out two of them because they smelled like banana liquor.)  And my daughter didn't want to go out again even to have lunch at the park, which is very unlikely of her.

My husband?  He had gone to golf.

I guess I am not in the stage of my life to go to a knitting event.  I can't wait to grow up (as a knitter).

Hope everybody who went to WWKIP event had a blast.

June 13, 2008

Moving Update 6/12

What I did today.

*Made "For Sale" list.  We were going to donate all the stuff we can't bring to Japan, and realized the best way to make it work is to sell them and donate the proceeds.  We learned that what the organization who does "good things" really needs is manpower.  Since we can't offer our time, next best thing is money.  Maybe we are going to put unsold stuffs to the hands of the moving company to let them donate to Salvation Army or someone.  Otherwise, our money goes to March of Dimes.
*Packed almost all the CDs in our house.  My husband and I have already imported our favorites to computers, so we can live without any of them for next two months.  Technology. 
*Packed most of my long sleeve shirts.  It's the advantage of moving in summer time; it's hot anyway, anywhere.  We really don't need warm clothes for a while, except for an "in case" long sleeve jacket for each of us.  

8 days to the 1st shipment
29 days to the final shipment
32 days in Texas
42 days in America

June 12, 2008

BSJ Newcastle

BSJ Newcastle
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

Pattern; Baby Surprise Jacket (by Elizabeth Zimmermann)
Yarn; Dalegarn Baby Ull leftovers from my daughter's and my mittens
needle; US 3 32 inch circular needles and US 0 crochet hook

I am very proud of using up the yarns (to several grams all 4 colors combined), and not so of using leftovers for one of my best friend's baby gift.

The new parents lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. They are both Japanese, his job happened to be there. He teaches Palaeo-environmental study at the university. He is my (and my husband's) friend from college, only one in our class but very much academically succeeded. And he couldn't find a job in our home country. That's a shame.

He is not sure he can find a post in Japan before their baby daughter grows up. He said that it's sad that he will not be able to share his mother language with his own daughter. Their thought put in their daughter's name may not be completely understood by her. 

I know this kind of thing has happened countless times in the United States, where countless immigrants found their only place to earn and build families, their children learned some of their mother languages but found out English as their first language. Those immigrants and their families had chosen the best way of life for sure, but, still, it's a sad thing.

I always wanted to try this pattern since the day I heard about it. It took me a while to "get" how the decreases and increases line up. I ended up ignoring a few mismatches about stitch count, which is OK for me as a knitter, may not be OK if new dad ever notice (he is a very..... meticulous person) but not likely because he is a non-knitter.

I love this pattern now. Now I completely understand why there are a flock of knitters who admire Elizabeth Zimmermann as to say "she is the patron saint of knitters." Too bad she needs some (three?) miracles recognized by Vatican to be canonized. We can build a Shinto shrine and make pray to her right away. Any Shinto priest who knits out there?

Moving Update 6/11

What I did yesterday and today;
*Packed most of our winter clothes and formal outfits.
*Packed DVDs.
*Threw away all of VHS tapes, except for the one our wedding is recorded.
 This made me feel I am married for ages.  It's only 12 years ago, and the recording device is gone obsolete.
*Finished importing audiobooks of Harry Potter series to the Max (my MacBook) through to "the Half-Blood Prince."  This means only one more book to go, which means only 17 CDs to go.
*Arranged selling TV to my English teacher. (I no longer take her class, but, like parents, you can't quit being a teacher.)

Packed boxes counts 13 (one is not sealed, a few more thing to throw in).  There going to be about 100 of them when everything (including furniture and all) is done.  The finish line is still so far to see.  Well, 80 or so of them is going to be done by professionals from the moving company, though.

9 days to the 1st shipment
30 days to the final shipment
33 days in Texas
43 days in America

June 06, 2008

Moving Update 6/5

What I did today.

*Took out air-bed from already packed box for a newly-come fellow Japanese couple (They just come two days ago and the house is almost ready to move in, but their bed won't be delivered until next week.)
*Packed almost all the knitting books and yarns (except those I am planning to read/use during our travel/moving)
*Made a box for important papers.  Whatever should be kept safely goes in this storage box.  To make it clear that this box is special, I bought a blue flower-print storage box from Office Max.
*Made a box to keep books that my husband is planning to read  between the first and the last shipment.
*Filled "Bags/Cloths for Donation" boxes (two of them).

Not bad, but opening those packed boxes made me disappointed of myself.  I should have known better to leave the air beds out, for I knew them coming and I knew how the first days of moving is going to be.
Later, I found out that I kept buttons from my denim top coat (there may be better word to describe it) when I was checking the coat to put it in "donation" box.  Two buttons were missing on the front, one was pinned to the belt with a safety pin, one was kept in my 'button bin'.  This made me feel very good.  I feel myself a good housemaker, though not a good packer.

I set a rule to assign each week from this to the 1st shipment to each of three zones of our house, playroom&office, bedroom, kitchen.  Living room is taken care of throughout the last two weeks with bedroom and kitchen.  And NO PACKING ON WEEKENDS to keep my sanity.  This means, this week's work is almost done, because tomorrow is one of 'out of the house' days. (To bring donations and visit friends to arrange sellings/giving aways.)

15 days to the 1st shipment
36 days to the final shipment
39 days in Texas
49 days in America

Edit;  One more thing I did today.  
*Broke a tea pot.
Sad.  I liked that plain all-white pot, but I can do without it for a while and get a new (likely a smaller) one in Kyoto.  One less thing to be packed.  That's not bad.  Sad, but not bad.

June 04, 2008

Moving Update 6/3

What I did today regarding our moving.

*Packed 4 boxes (2 large, 2 small)
*Took pictures of my daughter's 'masterpieces' she brought home from daycare.
(And she got one more today. Endless.)
*Started importing Harry Potter Audio CDs (just Book 4 to 7) to iTunes so I could hear it while we are traveling.  Only 74 CDs. I completed 2 of them so far.

17 days to the 1st shipment
38 days to the final shipment
41 days in Texas
51 days in America

June 03, 2008

Moving Update 6/2

What I did regarding moving.

*Measured the dimensions of all furniture. (Not a lot.)
.... That's it.

18 days to the 1st shipment
39 days to the final shipment
42 days in Texas
52 days in America