Sunday, August 31, 2008

Getting Settled

Joe and I finally feel like we're getting settled here. We've set up a bookshelf, TV stand and DVD holder and we bought at TV! Stuart said he was going to send us his Wii to take care of until he moved here, so we decided a TV was now a priority! We went to this lady's house we found on Craigslist who was selling a 27" TV. Well, we got there and she was also selling a 32" TV. Well, we walked out of there with the 32", obviously. :-) It's seriously the biggest TV I've ever had. But I think out apartment is finally coming together and looking nice. One more week until our furniture comes and then everything will look put together.

Today we went to our first playdate put on by the Maryland iggy people. It was out at a farm in Thurmont, really in the middle of nowhere, but we had SO much fun. It was a fenced in area on this farm that the owners rented out for doggie playdates. We were able to bring Jackson. They had an agility course set up in the play area for anyone who wanted to mess around with it. We put Jack through a couple things and he did well. He wasn't afraid of any of it. We have been thinking about putting Jack through agility, just to have him in something active, so it was nice to try it out.

What we didn't expect, was that Ava loved it too!! She followed Jack through a couple of the stunts and then would go out and venture on them on her own. Ava, the girl who is afraid of EVERYTHING new, totally took to this agility stuff! So, we decided we needed to get both dogs into something like that. I think we'll do obedience first, then agility. We're really looking forward to it.

I also met the IG Rescue Rep for Maryland at the playdate. She is a lot younger than I expected, couldn't be more than 23/24 and still lives at home. She was very nice though and seemed very organized and dedicated. She asked me to get involved and of course I agreed. I think I"m going to become a board member for Mid-Atlantic Italian Greyhound Club and help as much as I can with volunteer recruitment and fundraising.

Since it's a long weekend, we have tomorrow off, too, so we're thinking about going into D.C. Haven't made it out there yet.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ava's Birthday Party!

Well, Ava's birthday was very fun, although because we still didn't really have anything unpacked kitchen-wise, I had to be creative with her birthday "cake". She got a piece of bread with tuna fish and a pretzel stick as a makeshift "candle". It was pretty cute, though. She wore her birthday pearls. :-)

We also found a super cute dress and bought that for her for her birthday, too. She doesn't really like dresses, but it looks cute on her anyway!

We took the dogs back to the dog park again. Ava didn't really get into it, I think she still has some reservations from the last time we were there, but Jack loved it! Joe and Jack played soccer while Ava and I sat on the bench. :-)

We've been spending most of our weekend shopping for furniture and unpacking boxes. Wow, it's a big job! I feel like we've been unpacking for days and we still have so much left. We did make a significant purchase yesterday, though - a brand new couch and overstuffed chair! We were looking and looking on Craigslist and couldn't find anything that was both clean AND under $500, so we just decided to make the leap and buy it new! It will be delivered in two weeks and we can't wait.

We also bought a couple bookshelves, a DVD rack and a super cool lamp at Target, and a great coffee table on Craigslist. I can't wait to see it all together once everything is here and put together! I think it's going to be really nice.

We went to see a movie this afternoon - Tropic Thunder. It was pretty funny. We're trying to get out and see what's here in town, and not just spend all our time at home unpacking. :-)

Well, that's it for now. Another week starts tomorrow!

And Sarah - I'm so happy to hear you're reading this! Ava misses the Dug-man! Tell him hi for us!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ava's Birthday!

Happy Birthday Ava!! It is Ava's 2nd birthday today! I'm sure we'll have some sort of celebration, I'll post pictures soon. :-)

Everything is still going smoothly. I'm starting to slowly settle into my new job, and I really like it so far. It's going to be a lot of work, but it will be a fun challenge and one I think I am up for.

Joe is continuing to be the marketing machine for his new job. His boss is sending him out to different companies in the area offering to set up free chair massage sessions. They figure if they get in there and offer free massage, when someone actually needs chiropractic care, they will think of Joe first. I think it's a great idea!

Yesterday he visited a few fire stations and police stations, as well as a few gyms in the area. He got some interest and has some people to follow up with today. We also went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting last night. We met some interesting people - including one woman who asked if Joe did horse chiropractic! Apparently, it's a huge business, and Joe actually knows someone who does that in Vermont.

Still slowly unpacking boxes. I think that will be our main focus this weekend. That, and buying some lamps. There are no lights in the living room and bedroom, so we have to get lamps for those rooms pronto.

Hope things are going well with everyone. Leave some comments! We want to know there are actually people reading this thing! :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My New Job

First of all, happy birthday to my wonderful nephew, Christian, who turns 14 today!

Well, we did receive our stuff from the movers on Sunday. They were supposed to arrive between 10 a.m. and 12 noon and finally showed up at 5:30 p.m. Joe and I hung around the apartment for hours waiting and let me tell you, it's a boring apartment with no tv, internet, books, games, or anything else. We did play some cards (rummy, thanks Gramma :-)) and I drank wine to pass the time.

They almost forgot a couple boxes and bags, including Joe's massage table, and they damaged Joe's chiropractic table, which he WAS NOT happy about. They also misplaced the metal thing that Joe's spine hangs on (wow, that is a weird sentence...) but other than that, we got everything.

Still don't have any real furniture, like a couch or sofa chair or anything, but we did get a bed, and that was the most important thing. I patched one hole already on the air mattress, but I can't find the others that I'm sure are there, since we had to wake up in the middle of the night and air it up on a regular basis. I think that thing is going in the garbage.

So, I slept on a real bed the night before starting my new job, which was nice. The new job is going great, I'm in my second day today. The people I work with seem really nice. My immediate supervisor reminds me SO MUCH of Heidi and that is a complement to this woman because Heidi was the most encouraging, friendly, patient supervisor (and then friend) I've ever had! I work directly with one other person (they laid off the part time person I was supposed to supervise because managment decided that hiring another full time person - me - cut into the budget too much to keep the part timer on. Yeah, that's not awkward at all!!), but the other departments are in the building and I'll be working with them on a regular basis. Which is good, because I wanted to move into a position that had more than two other people in the company. I know I'm such a bad girlfriend, but Joe has to iron my clothes before work. Isn't he cute??

Joe has had the last two days off and has been relaxing among all the boxes at home. He was so tired after his week-long stint at the fair, working 11 hour nights that he is enjoying some down time before starting on a regular schedule. His job is about 4 miles away from our apartment - a straight shot, really, so it's really nice for him. I'm about 10 miles away, but it's still a great commute.

Well, I guess that's the update for now. Still no internet at home, but I'm free to use internet at work for personal reasons during breaks, so hopefully I can update here until I get it at home.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Movers are Coming!

Just heard some great news! The moving guy called and said he will be here to deliver our stuff tomorrow morning! Boy, do I hope it works out and he is there on time! All four of us are ready for some furniture so we actually feel like this is our new home! This is all we have now:

Today is Joe's last day at the fair. I dropped him off and then went out trying to find a dog park we had heard about. I found it, and unfortunately, it didn't have a small dog area. But, I decided to let them go for it anyway. I was so happy because as soon as Ava got in, she seemed really excited and was running around. Then, out of nowhere this big dog completely BOWLED her over and she limped away screaming bloody murder. Oh my god, it was awful and I thought, this is it, it's happened, she's broke something. I ran to her and gingerly picked her up and just held her and calmed her down for a minute. She was shaking all over. Then I started checking her out and thank god, she wasn't hurt. I think she got stepped on and run over and it scared the be-jesus out of her, but she wasn't broken.

She stuck to me like glue for the rest of the time we were there. The big dogs left and the other little dog owners kept coming and checking on us, they were really nice. I let her walk around for a while but if another dog besides Jack even got close, she would freak out. It made me so sad because she was so excited when we got there. And now she has bad memories of it. Jack, on the other hand, had a great time!

I'm at another coffee shop today. Won't get internet set up in the apartment until August 26th. Which makes it kind of hard to start furnishing our apartment through Craigslist.... but we'll think of something.

Joe is really excited to be done with the fair. Too long of nights, although he does say he is starting "to feel like a doctor" giving out advice and having people thank him for good suggestions. It's so cool to see him so passionate about what he does. :-)

Tomorrow is the first day we both aren't working and can spend some time together, exploring Germantown. We're going to drive to both our works and figure out a good route, all that good stuff.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Catch Up

So, I now have a bit of time to catch up on what's been going on. Not that it's been much. :-) Our routine has been that we get up, take showers, and I take Joe to the fair at 11:00. Then I come home and do as much as I can via phone to get things organized, take the dogs for walks, and read. Then I pick Joe up at 10:00 p.m. (He will only have those long hours while the fair is going). I lay on the air mattress all day because that is the only thing we have in the apartment. And because the only room that has an overhead light is the dining room, we sleep in the dining room. It's actually pretty funny.

We're having a good time with it all. It cracks us up sometimes that we have no plates, silverwear, cooking utinsils, ect. Yesterday Joe was walking around the apartment aimlessly because all he wanted to do was just sit down someone other than the floor. I walked out of the bathroom and he was sitting on the dryer! haha.

I have done some laundry, speaking of the dryer, and that is SO nice. No more quarter laundry in the basement!

I went to visit Joe at work yesterday for the first time (and left the dogs alone at home for the first time). He's met some great people in the booths next to his and has been really successful getting people interested in chiropractic. We walked around a little bit and then it started thunder and lightening. Well, we thought that was cool because we love thunder storms and we were laughing at the people running to cover around us. THEN we realized we were pretty much the only people out on the street and the rain was getting harder.

Then the loud speaker came on and said, "everyone get under cover". And the thunder was getting worse. I booked it to the car because I wanted to get home and be with the dogs in case they were freaking out. By then I was soaked. I turned on the radio and the radio guy was saying, "everyone get under cover and stay away from the windows. 60 mph gusts and penny-sized hail expected." I decided to stay where I was instead of trying to make it home.

The storm didn't last long, but it was intense. Like my dad said, they have a lot more weather over here than we're used to! I guess thunder storms are nothing to laugh at here!

Anyway, here are some pics of Joe pre-storm:

I've met some of our neighbors and they seem really nice. There is a nice path around the apartment complex to walk the dogs, which is really convenient. There is also a lake right down the road with a path around it. I haven't made it there yet. The dogs (and me) are still getting used to the humidity.

I think that's about it for now. Joe has to work until Saturday and then I start work on Monday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No internet

So, that internet we were stealing no longer works. Bummer. So I'm not going to be able to blog much until we get our own set up, and ask Stuart, it's going to take me a while to figure out how to set it up even then.

Anyway, I'm at a Panera Bread right now (my most favorite place so far here to eat) and they have free Wi-Fi. But I have to be quick.

Everything is going good. Joe has been working at the fair and it's going great. He really likes his new boss, who has already invited us over to have a playdate with his dog in his fences three acres. Yay!

The dogs are doing good, although they are still a little weirded out. It's getting really annoying to not have any furniture or any boxes or anything. I'm starting to find my way around our little community, but not much farther than about a five-mile radius around the apartment. But for me, I think that's pretty good!

Anyway, I'll try to write more next time I'm at this Panera place, but for now, I have to go. I have to go buy some bug spray, the mosquitos are eating me alive. That is the one thing I HATE about this place. You all know how much I HATE those little bastards!

Okay, talk soon.

Love you all,

Heather, Joe, Jack and Ava

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Made It! Germantown, MD

Well, I told dad that I couldn't post tonight because we didn't have internet access. Turns out someone in our building must have an open connection, because we're stealing someone's internet right now... good for us! :-)

First of all, it's Jackson's birthday today. He is three year's old today and Joe has owned him for one year today. Happy birthday Jackson!!

Today was another long day, but oh my goodness, we made it! We started out in Indiana and drove through Ohio and Pennsylvania to get to Maryland. It was funny seeing Sandusky, Ohio (from Tommy Boy), and we stopped at a rest stop that actually had a fenced outdoor area for dogs. We met a woman and her pug that live on the Virginia side of D.C. 

Pennsylvania was beautiful. Beautiful trees and wild flower fields and lakes and rivers. We really liked that drive. Maryland was the same way... very pretty drive. We ended up just randomly talking to Joe's new boss on the phone at the same moment we were passing where he was on the freeway. He asked us to stop so we could meet. So, we met Joe's new boss today, and he seems like a really great guy. Joe has to start work tomorrow, so I'll be all alone to try to set up the apartment as much as possible.

We were supposed to get to the apartment at 6:00 and didn't make it till 8:00. We lost another hour today (we're officially on East Coast Time!) and the traffic, toll booths and construction slowed us down. Luckily, the apartment people set it up so the on-call maintenance guy met us with our keys. (While I was waiting for the keys, Joe went to Chick Fil-A to get food. He was super ecstatic!)

The apartment is great. A nice size, with a fireplace and a walk in closet. We are right next to the tennis courts and pool and we've already met a neighbor who has an adorable little Yorkie named Daisy. :-) Oh - we also have a buzzer - so we can buzz people in when they come see us! I've only really seen those in shows.... so it's kind of cool.

There is one thing I don't like about Maryland so far. They have mosquitos. I've already been bit about 6 times. I need to buy bug repellent.

We have been keeping track of our mileage from the start and we just figured it out that from Seattle to Germantown was 3,336 miles. Holy crap! And yes, Kathy, Joe drove most of those. I think I drove 5 hours in that entire trip. I know, I'm horrible, but in my defense, he said he really does prefer driving. He says its because he gets really bored when he's not driving and doesn't have anything to do. I'm going to believe that and hope it's not really because I make him car sick. :-)

Hopefully we can keep this connection at least until we can set up our own. I'll try to blog again tomorrow. Love you all!! Can't believe we're so far away from home!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Portage, IN

This morning Ava wanted to make sure we didn't leave without her:

We drove 800 miles and through 5 states today! We started in South Dakota, went through Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, and are now staying in Portage, Indiana. Crazy, huh? We also drove over the Mississippi River, which was pretty surreal. This is at a rest stop in Minnesota:

We drove past Chicago, but weren't able to stop. No time and there was tons of traffic. We also started having to pay tolls. The first and second toll we went through we got through free. The person in front of us paid for the car behind them. Isn't that cool?? So, we paid it forward and paid for the person behind us at the next toll. :-)

The dogs are starting to get a little annoyed with all the driving, but are still doing very well. Tonight they were trying to be very patient, but as soon as we got to the motel, they couldn't wait to play play play!

Not much more to report. Just lots of driving, no real sight seeing.

We should be at our new apartment tomorrow night!

Sioux Falls, SD

So, for those following this blog, sorry there was no post last night. We were in a motel room and it didn't have free wi-fi. So, here is the post from yesterday, a day late:

August 9, 8:00 p.m.

Today was another long day, and hot! The good thing about that is I'm actually starting to get a semblance of a tan (Yes, Bonnie, a tan... okay, maybe just a little more off-white!)

We went to Mount Rushmore today. It was a lot farther off the freeway than we originally anticipated, bt the extra time was worth it. It was pretty cool. And the town you go through getting to the monument, Keystone, was so cool. It looked like a scene out of an old Western movie. It would have been fun to explore it a little if we had some time.

When we were leaving Mount Rushmore, we were sitting at a light and some bikers pulled up next to us. The dogs went crazy barking at the bikers. They were these hard looking guys in leather and bandanas - can you imagine little Ava trying to get all up in their face?? It was super funny and a little embarrassing. The bikers on all sides of us were laughing their heads off!

Other than that, though, the dogs have been awesome. Totally calm and sleeping the whole way. We have such awesome dogs!

We drove past Sturgis after that, still passing tons of bikers heading home. I thought it was going to be a lot more exciting, but I guess you have to actually go through the town to see all the excitement.

Then we started passing all these billboards for Wall Drug. We didn't pay much attention to them for the first 30 or so miles, but the billboards kept coming. They started saying things like "6 foot rabbit at Wall Drug" and "New T-Rex at Wall Drug" and "Kids bored? Come to Wall Drug". They just went on and on and on... so of course we had to stop. It was this cool 6-block long store that had EVERYTHING you could possibly imagine. It was super hot so we could only stay long enough to use the bathroom and buy a bumper sticker (the dogs were in the car). Funny place, though.

The rest of the drive was an almost arrow-straight drive across South Dakota. We are in Sioux Falls now. It's getting hot and muggy. I suppose it's easing us into our new life, huh? :-)

Oh - We found out today that our possessions are just leaving Seattle today. They will arrive in Maryland in 7 to 10 days. Long after we arrive. Excellent.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Buffalo, WY

Wow, today has been a long driving day. We were on the road for about 11 hours. Everyone was right, going through Yellowstone definitely slowed us down, but it was well worth it. Although we didn't see much wildlife, which was a little disappointing, it was a beautiful drive. We did see a few beautiful elk lying in the tall grass. The one stop we made within the park was at Old Faithful. We walked around a bit with the dogs and then waited until it blew. It was a bit of a wait, but we needed to see it! And it was a good break for the dogs.

Then, we saw what I had remembered from my last time in Yellowstone - a traffic jam caused by a Buffalo on the road. He was SO cool, and just meandered along seeming to say, "I was here first, so YOU can wait."

We got out of the park about 2:30 and proceeded through the longest most desolate stretch of Wyoming imaginable! Not that it wasn't pretty... the rocks were marked and were between 35 million and 55 billion years old. And they were so colorful and beautiful. Plus, part of the way we saw about 15 oil rigs (or what we figured were oil rigs) drilling out in the middle of nowhere. I've never seen one in person and it made me think of the movie "There Will Be Blood". I DRINK your milkshake!!

We made it to Buffalo, Wyoming at about 8:00 p.m. We tried to stay at the Motel 6 but they were booked. They are having a fair here, but the main reason is that Sturgis Bike Week ended today and all the bikers are coming home. It's crazy, we've passed hundreds of bikes today. So, we got the very last pet friendly room at the Super 8 and it's costing us about $70 more. But, I guess that's what we get for not making planned stops beforehand. It's a nice room, though, so it works out. We only paid for one dog, though, so we have to keep Ava incognito. :-)

Tomorrow we will see Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


We left Wenatchee at 8:00 a.m. this morning. We hit a huge dust storm in Moses Lake, then I fell asleep in Spokane, so I missed the first nice part of the trip. I slept right threw Couer d'Elene, which is too bad because I hear the lake is beautiful. I woke up right before the sign welcoming us into Montana. :-)

We were thinking we would be stopping in Missoula for the night, but we got there at 4:00 Missoula time and still have a couple hours left in us. So, instead, we got out, had lunch, laid out in the shade and took the dogs for a walk. It was a nice break.

We got back on the road and drove to Bozeman. We got a nice inexpensive motel with Wifi (yay!), just ordered dinner (delivered) and are now getting organized for the night. We're going to try to get up early again and get a good start on the day. We will be driving through Yellowstone tomorrow.

It's been a good trip so far. Car has been reliable and comfortable and the scenery has been mostly entertaining. Although we haven't seen one stitch of wildlife. What is this?? Seriously, we're in Montana, shouldn't the elk and bear be welcoming us at the borders??

Hopefully good wildlife pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Last day in Wenatchee

Today is our last day visiting family in Wenatchee. My mom came into town from her job in Mount Rainier and my cousins are here from California so it was really nice to get to see everyone one last time.

My aunt Kathy threw us a wonderful goodbye party at the Wok last night. Everyone showed up and it was so much fun (not to mention excellent food!) My cousin Christi got me a "memory plate" where you have everyone sign it and then display it in the new apartment. It was very cool. Also, everyone got together and got us a money tree and everyone was so generous! It was so thoughtful and so nice that everyone wants to help us have a good start in our new place! I realize more and more how supportive and protective my family is and how wonderful that is.

My brother and sister-in-law just got a pool and we were able to spend a couple hours yesterday and today hanging out in the pool. Which was extra nice since it was about 100 degrees outside!

Ava and Jack are completely exhausted tonight, which we hope will last through tomorrow! They have been playing in my aunt's yard and lounging out in the sun for the entire three days we've been here. They also went to the vet and got all updated shots and Jack went to the groomer and got a new East Coast summer cut!

We will try to get on the road by 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and try to hit Missoula, Montana tomorrow night.

Monday, August 4, 2008


After three great days in Canby visiting Joe's family, we are now in Wenatchee. It's already been a little bit of an emotional trip. While in Canby, we went to visit the gravesite of Joe's beloved grandparents, as well as a good friend he lost several years ago. It was nice to be "introduced" to three of the most important people in Joe's life, and hear stories about who they were. Joe felt good about seeing them one more time before the big move.

We also had a chance to spend some quality time with Joe's parents, who were a little shocked and trepidatious about our move. They gave us a nice send-off, though. I realized how much they already knew me when they gave us this advice - Joe is to keep tabs on me so I don't forget my purse anywhere and I am to keep tabs on him so he doesn't lock his keys in his car... again. :-)

We got to see Joe's niece, nephew and brother-in-law one last time, as well as good friends of Joe's and thier ADORABLE two-year-old girl. (Apparently, when she was told she would get to see us one last time she said, "Joe, Heder, like 'em." SO CUTE!!)

The drive from Canby to Wenatchee was 5 1/2 hours. It was a good preview, since we will be driving double that each day of our trip East. Wow, it's going to be long, uncomfortable days I think. At 5 hours, my ass was getting so sore and they dogs were getting a little antsy. Yikes.

We have three days here in Wenatchee. I've already hit the Wok once, so I'm 1/3 toward my goal. :-) We already have plans to go there tomorrow for my goodbye party, too. :-)

If I thought the last few days were emotional, the next few are going to be 100x worse! My family is the biggest group of emotional sobbers I've ever met. It's going to be sad...

It's now bed time. It's been a long day and the dogs are tuckered out!

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Car

Well, new to us. :-) We are now the proud owners of a maroon 1996 Honda Accord! After 4 stressful days of looking and with pretty much no time to spare, Joe finally found a car that matched what we wanted - a dependable car with air conditioning and automatic transmission that would make it to Maryland!

It's SO roomy and we are really happy with it. Lots of room for us up front and lots of room for the dogs in the back. We've got it set up nice for them - both dog's beds are set up with toys and chew toys all around!

Yesterday was a little stressful, though. The movers were supposed to come at 10:00 a.m. We finally called them at 12:30 and they said that the I-90 bridge was closed, they didn't know what to do, so they went to their next job - in Bellingham! (The bridge was closed for 20 minutes for the Blue Angels practice... they didn't know this??) My dad showed up to help us with last minute things and the three of us were supposed to have a nice dinner at Ivars to celebrate. Well, Joe had to stay home to wait for the movers and dad and I got a quick dinner at Ivars and brought take-out for Joe.
By the time we got back the movers were just getting started. They left about 9:00 p.m. - and then we started cleaning.

And yes, there is dirty clothes in one of those boxes. We finished up the cleaning this morning and I think it was passable. Not that I'm getting my deposit back any way - Ava has seen to that. :-)

Now we are sitting in Portland trying to stay awake at least long enough to have dinner with Joe's parents. The car was a nice smooth ride on the way down. We'll see how it feels after 5, 8, 12 hours. :-)

We'll be here in Portland until Monday morning and then head to Wenatchee!