Archives for posts with tag: apartment

No, really, STUFF! We have SO MUCH STUFF! And this whole wedding thing, with it’s showers, and registries etc, means MORE STUFF! If I seem a little “ack!” about all of this, consider that our apartment is currently full. I’ve posted pictures of how full our pantry is, how full our bookshelves are, and the general level of clutter. We have roughly 900 sq feet in our apartment. We have roughly 2000 sq feet of stuff.

Jarak and I have been pretty good about trying to simplify, getting rid of duplicate kitchen implements was one of the things that we did when we first moved in and unpacked. I suppose this is what happens when there are two grownups who have lived in their own apartments combining households. But then there are the books, and the art supplies and the beer making materials and all the things that you can just get rid of, what if you need to use it someday?

Added to the challenge, is that both of my parents have moved out of the big house that we all grew up in, and into houses where they have much less room. So they keep offering me things. And I keep having to turn them down. As much as I’d love the dining room table, or a big overstuffed chair, we have no room for it in the apartment, or in storage. I’m also the keeper of some of my brothers’ bigger things that haven’t been shipped out to them on the west coast, like the djembe and the heavy bag.  We still have books that haven’t been unpacked and are sitting waiting for space.

Yet I keep adding books… I brought home a tomato box full of books from my mother’s house last weekend. There are a bunch of puzzle and game books for Jarak, herbal medicine, organic gardening and knitting/knot-work books that I cherry-picked from about 7 boxes that my mother is getting rid of. I decided I didn’t really need any art history or art theory books at this stage in my life.

Jarak and I spent part of today before he went to work rearranging the kitchen so that we could put away all of the wonderful things that we have received as wedding gifts so far.  We found a home for the new Kitchenaid Mixer (seriously huge thank you to Biscuit and Rick for that!) which involved moving a shelf on our wire rack to make it fit. One of our challenges was figuring out what to do with all of the new containers we now have, and whether to keep or get rid of the ones we had. We decided that 20 year old Tupperware can be recycled, and that the newer stuff we use all the time stays.

That’s when it hit me: a wedding is really a huge marker of adulthood. You get “nice” things because you’re somehow more of an adult when you get married than you were just out of college, or puttering along through your twenties with the mismatched set of dishes that you inherited from an aunt. Wedding gifts mean upgrading from the hand-me-d0wns and having new/better/ your own things for the first time. We have a relatively small registry because we have a lot of the basics, and we really don’t see a need for a matched set of towels, or more teaspoons or spatulas.

One of the things that we’ve struggled a bit with is how to ask for what we really want: help buying a house. Etiquette around that is a pain.  How do you phrase it so that it doesn’t come across as “gimme money!” We settled on “One of our biggest goals in the next few years is to buy a house” and then having a section in the registry where people can contribute to a down payment. That way, it’s directed towards something, not just nebulous money being thrown at us.

There are probably more thoughts out there about this whole process, but that’s all that I’ve got right now. My brain is seriously all-wedding-all-the-time now. We’re 3 weeks out. I suppose it’s not surprising.

There’s another post about being the center of attention, asking people to do things, and accepting that people really do want to help us make this thing happen, but it hasn’t come together yet.

Sometimes that just hits me. Part of me is surprised when I’m not mistaken for a teenager in the school, and then I realize that some of the teachers are younger than me,  like I graduated college when they were 10th graders, younger than me. Yeep? I get called “Miss” by my kids occasionally, which is generic “respectful term for female older than you.”  So strange.

Nevermind the fact that I’m looking at 30, have been living on my own for almost 8 years, have a master’s degree, a cat and a really good (financed and used) car. I still forget that I’m a grownup. Maybe it’s the fact that many of my friends are married and/or having kids and I’m not there yet, although we talk about it all the time. Maybe it’s the fact that in our culture there is an extended adolescence that seems to stall everyone at 18 in some ways.

And then there are the times when I am reminded resoundingly that I am a grownup. Like when I went to Boston last weekend to hang out with my Best Friend Ever who came up from Nashville. A mutual friend of ours was going with some other friends of hers to see an Irish punk band at a bar near North Station. Red Flag! For those of you who don’t know Boston,  North Station is where the TD Garden is. Bruins and Celtics play there. Also, within easy walking distance of the strip of stupid that is the bars in Fanieul Hall. In short, a whole lot of young, drunk and stupid. And this was St. Patrick’s day. We got there 40 min before the mutual friend, and stood across the street watching the epic levels of stupid. Yelling, screaming, chanting “we’re going to part-ay” etc. Stuff that I didn’t like in college, and have less tolerance for now. We finally got inside, and it was insanely crowded. People were slamming into me left and right, I had to literally shove people to get to the bar. I was greatly displeased. Lesson learned: avoid bars in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day, and especially avoid college bars.  I’ve had quite enough of that thank you.

Boston was fantastic otherwise. Best Friend Ever and I laid on the beach in Revere in 80* weather. We each got sunburns, in March, on the beach. It was amazing. Exactly what I needed. And so much shopping! Scored a corset and a pair of super-cute heels at Buffalo Exchange, which, other than Mr. Crepe is our must-stop whenever we’re in the area.

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Adventures in unpacking continue. Things keep getting consolidated and moved around. I brought back most of my art stuff from my dad’s house on the way back from Boston. So now all of my paints and papers and beading supplies are here instead of in NH, so I can actually use them. However, it’s been fun trying to shoehorn them in. We took a box of books to Goodwill, all the duplicates, old, uninteresting comic books and things that we’ll never read again. We still have 3 boxes of books waiting for good homes.

In trying to shoehorn 3 space-hogging hobbies into a 2 bedroom flat, I find myself wishing for a house. A real house, with a yard, and space for a garden, and a basement and attic that I could put stuff in. My last apartment was the top half of a 2 family house, and I got the attic and basement storage. It was awesome. I don’t have that here, and I miss it. I’m also wishing I could do some landscaping. I see the forsythia and the magnolias blooming and go “I want that.”  So it’s probably time to go talk to a financial advisor and figure out how we’re going to pay for all the things we want to pay for in the next few years. When I first moved here I was balking at the idea of buying a house, but now that I’m a little more settled, I’m much more open to the idea.

We’re both artists, you’d think that we would have no issues finding artwork to put on our walls. We have tons of old art from high school, college, and for me, grad school.   The problem is, we don’t really like most of it. We’ve either seen it too much, or outgrown it.  Our walls are generally bare. I went through a bunch of stuff  this afternoon trying to find things to hang on our very bare, very white walls. I managed to find some nature photos that Jarak had mounted to foam board for a show, and an ink and conte drawing of a lamp that I did for a drawing class in college. Most of my work is very emotional, and from a different emotional space than I’m in now. It’s memories from my past that I really don’t want on my walls in my new life. I need to do an art swap with friends so that I get more artwork that doesn’t have huge emotional stories attached to them.

I have posters that need frames before they can be put up. I’ll get on that next weekend.

 

I was informed yesterday that I have not posted anything since January 15. Whoops. This is what happens when Everything Changes in the span of about 2 weeks. 

My job is crazy. The learning curve for a new system is basically vertical. I’m starting to round the top of the hill now. I’m not only learning a new social-services structure and terminology but a new technology as well. My job has moved to electronic record keeping, which has had a number of bumps and glitches along the way.

I’ve gone from 2 clients the third week I was there to over 25 between my actual clients and the referrals and wait-list that I have going. Apparently that’s freakishly fast to get that many clients. I have a 6 month “probationary” period where I can get up to speed and build a caseload. I am expected to schedule 30 clients a week, and hope to meet with at least 25 of them. My case load will be between 30 and 45 kids/families. I thought it would overwhelm me and everyone would blur together, but instead each case is clear in my mind and I can remember where we left off the last session. It’s such a change from having almost my entire caseload turn over every 2 weeks at the detention center. Family therapy is weird and strange, but I’m realizing it’s mostly about communication and how everyone in the house talks to each other. 

I get to work with Boys! I forgot how much fun they are, and how much more different they are from the girls. I would do the occasional intake on the boys’ units at my last job, but now I get to build relationships with them and actually do some good work. I’m excited. 

We found an apartment! It’s in a not-so-amazing neighborhood, but it’s better than it could be. It’s a 2 bedroom flat, with lots of light and not enough storage. It’s pretty big, but storage space disappears fast when you move two people’s stuff from two apartments into one apartment. We’ve already had the “what is a duplicate in the kitchen and which one is better” conversation. Poor Jarak ended up jettisoning the majority of his badly scratched non-stick cookware in favor of my less-scratched non-stick or steel or cast iron pans. I scrapped the majority of the knives I’d inherited from some friend of my parents’ back in college. Goodwill got a big box of cooking stuff from us. 

Goodwill has been a lifesaver in terms of setting up the apartment.  We snagged a  brand new microwave, a 4 quart slow cooker,  an ironing board, and a hand soap dispenser among other things. We were very happy. Setting up an apartment is expensive! We had to get curtains for the bedroom and living room because of the drafts and the fact that we’re right next to the neighbors.  Both of us are ready to stop spending money.

And then there are the books… Good lord do we have a lot of books. We have two full bookshelves and still have 4 banker’s boxes full of books, plus the few boxes that I have yet to pull out of storage.  It’s kind of amazing how many books we have. I took all the paperback sci-fi/fantasy novels and stacked them on their sides on two of the shelves, because otherwise we’d only be able to fit a third that much. 

Now that we have a lease and I “officially” live here now, I’ve been doing things like getting an account at a local credit union and getting a card at one of the local grocery stores. 

The cat is seriously happy that she no longer has to live with dogs. She hid under the bed for about 5 hours when we first started moving in, and warmed up fairly quickly after that. 

I have other posts in my head about brewing beer and food and arranging our galley kitchen in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a galley kitchen, but I’ll save those for another day.