Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm liking Minneapolis!

Well, I'm pretty settled! I've found most of life's necessities with the exception of a dry cleaner. I've found a grocery store that I love just 6-8 blocks away. I have a manicure and pedicure place that I like! I've even got an Asian market just a 5 minute walk over! I love the area- there are tree lined sidewalks, shops, restaurants and schools all around though my street is pretty quiet. I tried Westminster Presbyterian Church this past Sunday- I liked it but I'd like to go a few more times before I make any decisions.

I love my apt (and Smokey does too)! Here are some pics of the finished product though they don't really do it justice!

I'm in the process of my first big cooking project in the new kitchen- lasagna bolognese! I've got the meat and the bechamel sauces made (yesterday) and I'll be assembling today! Yummy dinner! Things are going pretty well in the kitchen. I'm loving the gas range and I'll be trying out the oven today. I may bake some cookies over the weekend to test the evenness of the oven out. I'm still figuring out working space but it is getting there- it will be very do-able.

I start work on Monday- wish me luck with public transport and paperwork!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Moving Sucks for Smokey Too

Poor Smokey. He survived the move from Texas and, while it could have been worse, I don't think that he was extremely happy. Luckily, the hotel rooms I stayed in had the rails along the bed so that he wasn't able to get under the bed. I decided not to drug him after the fiasco when the moving men were packing my things in Texas and I think that it was a good idea.

He was completely wigged out by the movers and the maintenance guys but he seems to be doing better. He has found some new hiding places- in the closet and behind the chair in the bedroom though he has ventured out into the living room and has ventured out to the living room. I think that things will be good now that things in the apt are pretty much settled...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Moving Sucks Part 3

Well I finally made it and have set up the internet/computer! It has been an exhausting few days with a few good things along the way to keep me going.

I arrived safely in Mlps on Monday morning and made a major trip to Target- I didn't even get lost!

My belongings arrived early Tuesday morning along with men to set up the cable, my couch was delivered and the maintenance guy was here to fix my shower all at the same time. The good part was that the printed copies of my dissertation were also delivered- it looks great! I think that I've found somewhere to mail them so I'll work on that early next week.

Things have been chaos but they are slowly getting better. Here are some pics of my progress as of Wednesday morning...

I have been to Ikea, Target (twice) Kmart, the grocery store (they have rainbow chip frosting- I'm in heaven), the car wash, and liquor store- I think that I'm doing great! Nothing is more than 10 minutes away. I love the location of the apt- it is a super cute neighborhood with lots of trees, flowers, sidewalks... I really think that I'll be happy here. There are great tulips out now- here are some out my front door!

My advisor, Carol Lange, had a party last night (Thursday) in honor of SPRING- it was fantastic to see people- some of her neighbors came and they were super friendly.

I'm getting close to settled- I'm getting quite proficient at putting furniture together from boxes. I'll take pics when I'm done- the apartment is going to be super cute- I'm really pleased!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Moving Sucks Part 2

I am lucky enough to be staying at the Days Inn in Pauls Valley Oklahoma where they have free wireless so here is a post for all of you keeping close tabs on the move...

My friends threw me a congratulations/good luck party on Thursday- it was great to see everyone and we all went to the Gaff afterwards. You can buy a ceiling tile to write messages on and they got one for the occasion- Kiersten has pics and as soon as I get my hands on them I'll show ya'll.

Friday morning the movers arrived- there were two of them and here are pics of them in action.
They took an inventory of all of my stuff and put green stickers on everything and had it all loaded by 1ish. The apt was so empty! At the last minute I packed a few extra boxes and I'm glad I did cause the rest of my stuff plus Smokey barely fit in the car. Susan brought lunch from Subway and came over to eat while the movers were finishing up. After they left I calmed a totally freaked out, drugged Smokey then went to the lab to start packing my computer into the car. The ladies downstairs were really sweet and got me a cake so we had that and one for Anne's B-day at three.
It was an extremely emotional day- all of the planning and packing and preparing was coming to an end and it was just a lot to deal with. I'm almost as proud of myself for moving myself completely across the country on my own as I am for getting my degree!
I spent an hour or so with Sam in the evening but was home by 8:30. I had trouble sleeping but Smokey seemed much better by then so that made me a little more comfortable. This morning I was up super early and figured I'd get going- it beat laying awake on a concrete floor! I finished packing the car and loaded up an undrugged Smokey and off we went. I made great time and there were no problems in any of the big cities I've passed through which include San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Dallas/Fort Worth. I did about 8.5 hours today and am hoping to get a good night sleep to do 10 tomorrow. Smokey is doing well plus he can't get under the bed so I won't be stressed about trying to get him in the crate tomorrow! Here is a pic of him at the hotel- how cute!

I've a reservation in Clear Lake Iowa (just outside of Mason City) for tomorrow night- wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moving Sucks Part 1

As most of you know I am in the process of moving from Port Aransas, on the south coast of Texas, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now, I have lived in Texas for 6 years and have accumulated quite a bit of "stuff" and now I'm having to move all of it. Thankfully, I have hired movers who will come and load my stuff onto a truck, drive it to Minneapolis and unload it into my new apartment. I still have to pack everything. It sucks...really sucks. It sucks to find boxes, it sucks to decide what you can live without for a period of time (it really sucks when you've packed something at the bottom of the pile only to realize three days later that you really need it!), it sucks to live in a disaster of an apartment with boxes everywhere and it especially sucks to feel like you live in limbo! Here are some pics of the chaos that is my life currently...

In addition, there is a two week window in which they can deliver my worldly possessions so I may be without home comforts for some time. I have had to choose what to take in the car judiciously. Electronics, important documents, clothes, toiletries, a sleeping mat and sleeping bag- and a CAT and all that he entails! I'm just hoping that it all fits. This is the start of the "car" pile...

I will take some pics of "Moving Day" to post early next week- pray for me- for sanity and saftey!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Girls Weekend in Houston

This weekend I drove up to Houston for one last "Girl's Weekend" with my BFF Sam before I move to the Great Cold North. I drove up there Saturday morning and Sam and I went to the Hobbit Cafe for lunch followed by shopping in Rice Village and a beer at The Gingerman. We were going to watch a play in the park but it was too hot and humid so we decided to stay home and drink wine and watch the Indiana Jones marathon- who can beat the handsome, dashing Harrison Ford?

While Sam was running on Sunday morning she found a fledgling screech owl in the middle of a busy road and rescued it. We found the Houston Wildlife Rescue center and saved the baby! I didn't take pics of the owl so as not to scare it but it looked like this:

After our Good Samaritan deed we were mighty hungry and brunched at a "real Mexican" place- the chili sauce on my eggs was to die for!

While we were waiting for a friend of Sam's to get home so she could borrow his runner's GPS we wandered into the Wabash Feed and Antiques store- they had chickens, turkeys and bunnies! They also had a great selection of plants, plant and pet foods and really cool antiques. Sam got a jar of pickled green beans for Scott- has anyone else heard of such a thing?

We got manicures and pedicures before I headed back to Port "A". I just hope that I find girlfriends in Minneapolis half as great as the ones I have in Texas!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


As some of you may know, I have inherited a cat from the Nunez-Pace household. His name is Smokey and, poor thing, has only three legs. He comes from New Orleans where, as a kitten, he belonged to a homeless man. He got caught in a car engine and was dropped off at the vet to be put down. The vet thought that he was too sweet to put to sleep so they removed his front let at the shoulder and he survived! He was given to Scott and Sam, animal lovers that they are, and has done well. As Scott and Sam are moving and I wanted a cat, it was the perfect opportunity for Smokey. He now has my full attention and doesn't have to fight for food. We have spent the last few weeks getting comfortable with each other and it seems to be going well.

He loves to be on the bed- I think that it is a safe spot for him and he runs like the devil if you walk past him on the floor which is quite funny with just his three legs.

He seems to be a "rear oriented" cat. He LOVES to have his butt scratched and waggs his tail like a dog.

I painted a ceramic bowl for him at the paint your own pottery place in Port "A" (again in my copoius amounts of free time now that I've finished my dissertation).

Wish us luck (and good drugs) on our trip from Texas to Minneapolis!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My First Blog

I thought that I'd try blogging in my copious amounts of spare time now that I've finished my dissertation. I'm just about to move across the country and this will keep you- my peeps- up to date on my activities!
This is the only fish I caught while I was in Texas- and I call myself a Marine Biologist!