I’m Unpacking Boxes

I’m not a terribly organized person, or — easier to put it — I tolerate disorder better and longer than my husband does. Or perhaps a different type of disorder. (He’s okay with piles of boxes. I’m okay with the cabinets not being precisely organized and divided, so long as things are more or less in the right place.)

HOWEVER I’ve found that trying to do anything in this house with the state of still-packed disorder takes three times the effort, and I have books to finish.

So I’m unpacking and cleaning kitchen and dining room.

After which I will write but PROBABLY not a blog post.

Just wanted you to know I’m okay.

101 thoughts on “I’m Unpacking Boxes

  1. Is okay. Worry not. Writing chapters, making bad guys more evil, adding in some more impossible tasks, introducing subplots and then editing like a madman. Chapter 18 is loaded, 19 is in process. Also editing for a friend. Helped a neighbor look for a pregnant cat this morning. Need to organize the leftover chili. Also have to research more on ships, classes, tonnage, dock-to-shore, diplomacy, neuroscience, medicine, and orbital physics. And veterinary medicine.

    This writing job while looking for work thing is a lot of work. I need to schedule a naptime somewhere.

    Blog will not burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp in the meantime. Probably. Most likely.

    1. And if it does, we’ll just rebuild!
      Not that it will look the same; but does it ever?

        1. Check with the aardvark. He sometimes makes a hobby out of perfect reproduction.

          He uses technology from the purple door in the fourth subbasement. To the world where everyone not an aardvark is turned to stone. Which may be cheating.

          1. And, of course, sometimes he doesn’t.

            Thus far, he’s never found an innocent explanation of those cases.

    2. Did you find the pregnant cat? Did she have the kittens?

      One of our cats learned a new trick this morning. Opening cabinet doors. How did we learn this? Opened cabinets that go into the Attic! And decided to explore!!! Other two cats were not happy (fourth was in bed with son), they got locked up while I crawled in to entice the one out. Three hours ago, and my knees still hate me. We have a light in there, because that is where the furnace is. Dang cat. Got him to start calling, so found him, got him moving out. Now secondary entrance to attic is blocked. Doors into that section are also blocked closed. Hubby and son have orders to put removable plywood with latches on secondary access. If the cats get into storage section, fine, do not want them in the loose ceiling insulation, or in an eve we can’t get to them if they get stuck.

      1. Why do you immediately assume the pregnant cat identifies as ‘she’? Isn’t that…something-ist? 😛
        At my house, the ‘things that go bump in the night’ are cats.

        1. >>something-ist?

          Only if the cat complains. The cat has to type it … no human translating.

          1. Nope.

            This Dragon says “if it becomes pregnant, then it is a female no what it thinks it is”. 😈

            1. Grumble Grumble

              That should be “it is a female no matter what it thinks it is”. :Grumble Grumble:

              1. Only Females lay eggs or get pregnant.

                Of course, any Male Dragon who “identifies as a Female Dragon” gets killed by the True Female Dragons.

                But then any Female Dragon who “identifies as a Male Dragon” is considered insane as why would anybody want to identify as a Lesser Being?

                Finally, there are plenty of Species of Dragons. Some give Live Births and others lay eggs. There are legends of Dragons that are Hermaphrodite but I’ve never encountered them.

                1. Considering what you have just revealed about dragon culture, any hermaphrodite dragon would probably stay real quiet about it. Maybe it’s a “family secret” type thing.

                  1. Nod.

                    They would likely “Pass As Female” because among Dragons, Female Dragons are the More Powerful (and Deadlier) of the Species.

      2. No kittens yet. Fluffhead is a canny kitty, though. She’ll inevitably find some place warm and safe that no sane person would think to look, have teh kittehs, and bring them around once she’s satisfied that they aren’t dogs. Fluffhead disapproves of dogs. Muchly. Not one of the terrible foursome, she visits only occasionally and is tolerated by the strange ones and have claimed The Big Porch for their own territory.

        I heard Fluffhead sometime last night puttering about, so I’m sure she’s okay. That one is a survivor. My house just happens to be at the nexus of “far enough away from dogs” and “close enough to treats” to be a good place to look. She might still be in the nook in the basement- I haven’t taken the flashlight down to look yet.

    3. >> “Blog will not burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp in the meantime.”

      “They said I was DAFT to start a blog in a swamp! But I started it all the same, just to show ’em!”

  2. I feel ya, chicka! We sold/bought a new home as well. Still boxes everywhere… Take your time, it’s already stressful enough. 🙂

    1. Why when we discuss selling and building our dream single story home. We can get past the even exchange, even cost us a bit more, discussion. But then we get to the “but we’ll have to pack, move, and unpack ….” Okay. Location is a little bit of a minor problem too. But still …

  3. ‘sawright. Fwiw, I am likely going to be a bit “out of it” for a while partly due ‘getting’ to work through the silly clock-finagling, but mainly due to that 98 year-old fellow who I know…well, knew… dying Saturday morning. Not unexpected, after all 98 and obviously ‘winding down’ for the last several months. But still…

    45 days to 99, for what it’s worth. He had expressed that he had no interest in that particular milepost.

    1. Sorry for your loss.

      It always feels odd if they’re ready for it, because we never really are.

      Of course it’s way better than when they aren’t ready for it. That just always sucks.

    2. Oof, sorry. Mom is also 98, birthday due in a month or so. Whether she makes it is up to God, and he ain’t telling.

    3. But still…

      One of the biggest tributes I can imagine for someone is to make it so long, and those who know him still wish it had been longer. Dying too young in your 90s is impressive.

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    4. Thank you, everyone.

      If sometime I seem to fail to reciprocate, it is not me being callous. It is, rather, me not knowing how best to put some things and being leery of clumsily making things needlessly worse.

      1. Don’t worry about it. We’re Odds; being bad at people skills is kind of our forte. 😛

        And my condolences as well. Take care of yourself.

  4. Jordan Peterson has a really good point about “clean your room” – that putting our space in order helps put our mental state in order.
    …whether I want it to be true or not…

    That, and the advice to deal with the small irritations, b3ecause your life is composed of the everyday things you encounter, and so the small irritations, over and over, add up to a gigantic part of your life. Which is why, yesterday, I found myself mailing the coffee I got that’s good but not what I wanted out to a friend. This way I wasn’t annoyed by it, and I wasn’t annoyed at wasting good coffee I paid good money for like I’d be if I just tossed it.

    And today, tackling the mess that was the overcluttered bathroom counters with the simple question of “is this actually in use, or can it go away?” Followed by the much harder question “Where is away? Is that a good away?”

  5. I figured you were busy with home and writing and wasn’t worried. Good luck from me and the kitties, especially the lurking and fussing C!

    1. All four say books. nd there’s another 200 of them. And soe that say clothes have books. But I can’t unpack those till we put up more shelves.
      I don’t actually have any hair left from puling it out.

      1. The price of wood being what it is these days, I’m considering steel shelving. Temporary measure. I know, I know. But needs must.

        Finished one chapter today. On to the conflict/action/stuff happening part. I think it needs more boom. And more baddies.

        1. Ugly as sin. I have that in the pantry – even uglier reinforced with rebar threaded under them. Can’t convince the family to not put all of the canned goods on just two shelves.

          1. Don’t remember which of the Huns mentioned it, but apparently one of the “wandering cats” nearby is pregnant.

            He wasn’t sure where she decided to have her kittens.

            1. Isn’t 100% clear if the cat owns a household or two, or the entire neighborhood. But at least two households are insuring she is safe and keeping an eye out for her.

            2. Ugh. A very likely female stray has recently started hanging around, but won’t let me get anywhere near her. I have a technique I can use to tame frightened strays if they’re hungry and desperate enough to get close, but the situation with the two idiot cats I already have is preventing me from using it.

              Which means I’m probably going to end up with a litter hidden somewhere around here.

              1. Where hubby golfs there are three feral cats hanging around. Two kittens, not quite a year old, and an older male, probably kittens father. No one has seen mama cat. The guys have tamed the elderly male enough he can be picked up. The adolescents will take food out of the food bowl provided. When hubby brings leftover cooked chicken they will take it out of his hands, enthusiastically and fanatically. But won’t let him touch them. They are all neutered and spayed. The female kitten was already pregnant when caught. Veterinarian aborted the fetuses. He did spayed/neutered, and basic vaccinations for free. Supposedly someone with 20 acres is taking the kittens, but they haven’t been able to catch them, again. They need to be outdoor country barn kitties or we’d take them. But with our 4 and the neighborhood, not a good idea.

                We’ll take another two. But we want them young. Very young. Better likely to integrate with our 4 (well 3 of the 4 anyway, Bits is a grumpy cat), and the dog. Not looking, but will take in any that put themselves in our path. Possible. How we got Thump 7 years ago now (even if we lost him at age 5). At our door step they have to get by all the neighbors first so we usually find them somewhere else. (Kittens are officially strays when found crying in business districts, or log yards at the end of logs that have been moved. Mama isn’t coming back. Just saying.)

                1. >> “When hubby brings leftover cooked chicken they will take it out of his hands, enthusiastically and fanatically. But won’t let him touch them.”

                  My technique might help.

                  Instead of feeding the cat meat from your hand, lay small pieces on the ground and use them to maneuver him into the right position. That position is next to you within arm’s reach, but facing away so he won’t see your hand coming while he’s focused on the food.

                  Once he’s set up, reach out and gently stroke his back. He’ll bolt a short distance away, but you should be able to coax him back with more meat and soft words. Rinse and repeat.

                  The cat’s reaction to your touch should gradually get less severe as he realizes it’s not hurting him. After enough cycles – it’s typically around half a dozen for me – he’ll stiffen a bit but stay put and continue eating. At that point you just have to keep feeding him and scratching his back until he realizes it feels good, and then he’s yours.

                  1. THIS is how I tamed Greebo and his brothers. With Iams kitten food.
                    And I’m so glad I did. I can’t imagine having missed out on my friendship with my boy-cat.

                    1. They definitely are being loved on and not starved. Hubby isn’t the only one feeding them. The kind of have a job. The golf coarse just doesn’t want cats hanging around. I think they are nuts as the cats are ratting and mousing. I can understand the owners not wanting a cat colony starting up, but that has been snipped (baring any more country dumps). We have a housing lot. We have streets. These are country cats. They’ll do great on the 20 acres if they can get them moved with a family who is willing to have them and semi tame them, even if they never become house rulers.

                      And yes, we tamed our first two cats the same way. One cat showed up. Fed him. He showed up with his sister the next day. They weren’t real feral. But he would not stay inside. She eventually did especially after we lost him about 14 months later. She moved with us, with the hand feed kitten, and an abandoned 6 month male. Our first 3. #4 was another hand feed. #5 Abandoned wet, about 5 months old. #6 Kind of appropriated from neighbor (accident, story behind it). #7, #8, #9, #10, #12, & #13, Under porch feral kittens others caught and rescued (last 3 were only 5 weeks, when we got them). #11 bushes in business area (3 weeks, not quite hand fed). #15 is Freeway, and yes her name is indicative of where she was found, if she’s feral, she is a very tame feral.

                    2. ” The golf coarse just doesn’t want cats hanging around. I think they are nuts as the cats are ratting and mousing.”

                      They are also treating the sand traps / bunkers as the world’s biggest litter boxes, basically. High school friend’s grandfather was the golf pro for the Montgomery (AL) Country Club.

                    3. Had not thought of that.

                      From what I understand, they hang around the sheds and deck, venturing into the nearby neighbors fields. Staying away from the golfing areas. The practice sand pits might be in danger. OTOH who knows where they roam at night. The golf coarse is surrounded by a rural road, farms, and timber. Not in a residential area. In our area, and the golf coarse location, specifically, the cats are in danger from predators: Owls, Eagles, Coyotes, Fox, Bear, Bobcat, and Cougar. As kittens from other predators (probably why only two kittens, and mom isn’t around still).

                1. I’ve hand-fed them too, but my current cat situation isn’t good for taking in a litter right now. There’s nowhere good to put them and at least one of mine might actually attack them.

                  And that’s assuming I can even FIND them in time; they’re more likely to end up as feral as the mother.

          2. Yesterday or the day before one of the local cats came ’round my house for scritches and toddled off later on. That night it snowed, and early in the morning a teeny tiny woman came knocking at my door wanting to know if she could look in my outbuilding for her little white cat, who was heavily pregnant.

            So I got my keys and we searched high and lo, and no kitty cats or itty bitty kittens were found to be nesting. Also, no itty bitty paw prints on the fresh snow, either. Fluffhead had not been seen out since the day before.

            Tiny woman left to search elsewhere, I grabbed a flashlight to search the basement because occasionally the foursome squeeze their way through the vents to get out of the rain. No kittens heard nor seen.

            Today dawned snowy once again, and still no sign of Fluffhead. I suspected she was hiding some place no sane person nor cat would think to look, because Fluffhead is the smart one in the neighborhood (though she does have a nigh unreasonable distrust of anything that smells of dog).

            Round this afternoon I heard through the grapevine that Fluffhead had indeed been found hiding in an attic of all things, safe from snow, dogs, and inquisitive tiny women alike. There are four miniature snowballs and one teeny coal black bit of fuzz presently being cosseted and fussed over, couple houses down. The black one is a broad hint as to precisely who the daddy is. Either Nastycat or Neighborcat, as both have the proper coloring (white/black for the latter and black with white tie and boots for the former).

            Much worry there was for a bit there, as a busy street runs down the hill from my place, across from the gas station. But, as I predicted at the time, worry was misplaced- Fluffhead, for all her similar features to Doofus, is no fool of a cat. The attic she chose was warm and safe, free of the smell of dog, and close enough to her people that she could visit when she chose. It just so happened that five hungry kittens was a bit of a chore to manage. Who’d’ve thunk?

            Neither Neighborcat nor Nastycat have been giving me guilty looks, so the question of paternity is not yet settled. My money, for what its worth, is on Neighborcat, as Nastycat is quite insane. The latter attempted to mud wrestle a stick the other day. The stick won, three falls of three. Subsquent bath was, of course, *highly* disliked by the bathed one, but he no longer resembles the Tar Baby from the Bre’r Fox tales.

            The quest for proper kitty-homes proceeds apace for the littles. They won’t be leaving Momma any time soon, but its best to get a line on upstanding families what know how to manage a cat. Tiny woman has not given much sign, but I rather suspect that at least one or two of the littles will *not* be leaving the household at all. If any do. I don’t follow in-house politics if I can help it, but there is resistance on that note, judging by the fuming looks from one side of the house and the defiant ones on the other.

            In other news, Doofus managed to lock himself inside a car in the mean time. One of the used ones on the car lot nearby. Customers queried the lot as to where the meowing was coming from. Doofus survived uncooked, owing to the recent cold snap. I suspect he was looking for warm sunbeams to lay in and snuck in when no one was looking. Othercat reappeared after a nearly week long jaunt into the unknown, just in time to be bemused by all the searching humans looking for a cat that wasn’t him, for a change. Neighborcat continues to leave presents by the back door in exchange for scritches. Folks could learn a valuable lesson on reliability form Neighborcat. Were he inclined to actually teach lessons, that is.

            1. . There are four miniature snowballs and one teeny coal black bit of fuzz presently being cosseted and fussed over, couple houses down.

              ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

              The pet-litically correct term for those suspected not-leaving kittens is "foster failures," I have been told….

            2. Too bad no orange kitty beans. I’d get in line for one of those. (Have an hankering.)
              Son is feeding three strays by the back door:
              Tareco, who looks like a cat of the name when I was little. (Means rags.)
              And Tiffany (He named her. She was extremely skinny black cat, looking on her last legs.) She looks much better, but I don’t think we’re only benefactors, as someone shaved lumps of fur from her side.

                    1. Sarah, we should introduce you to Augie, if you can come to Texas for Wee Jamie’s christening after-party. (Christening in early April, a private affair, but the party at his god-parents, afterwards.) He is a white and ginger, all-indoor, found dumped and traumatized about a year ago in our neighborhood. But the Daughter-Unit says that you can have Augie ONLY if he falls silly-in-love with you at first glance.

              1. Doofus is quite orange, but also quite the doofus. The cat gods did not bless him with smarts as they did his littermate. He is regularly stymied by such things as a half closed door, the distance to the ground that he just jumped up from, loud noises, cars, dogs, other cats, the fact that the outside is actually OUTSIDE, open fence gates four inches to the left, rain, snow, excessive heat and sunlight, bees, and people that do not drop absolutely everything to help him out of the mess he just now got himself into.

                I maintain that Doofus is an abandoned indoor cat that some cruel person left outside. He is claimed, sort of, by the neighbors that feed him. But he spends most of his days on my porch or wandering in my back door when it is open, then forgetting that doors exist and crying because he is now trapped. He would do much better as an indoor only cat. He knows what the litterbox is, at least. And indoors he’d be a lot closer to help once he gets himself into trouble. Poor idiot nearly starved himself the first time I found him, perched on a limb not four feet from the ground, too terrified to get down. Four. Feet. This is a fully grown up cat, mind you.

                I have no idea his age, but he is not young. If there were an old-folks home for cats, he’d be the one wandering the halls at all hours forgetting he had a bed to sleep in when he got tired and sleeping on the toilet.

                Though now I think on it, mayhap the cat gods did bless him anyhow. He’s not the type of tiny predator Neighborcat is, nor the survivor Othercat is. He’s not as actively crazy as Nastycat, nor as prone to getting himself filthy. He hates dirt by all accounts. The fact that he has survived this long is the best evidence I can find for divine blessing. That cat is not suited for the natural world. He’s a lapcat. An indoor type. Much like the introverts of the human world, Doofus has his few tolerated persons and felines and everything else is right out.

                1. >> “Poor idiot nearly starved himself the first time I found him, perched on a limb not four feet from the ground, too terrified to get down.”

                  He must have nearly starved to death before getting stuck up there, else he’d have died to dehydration first.

              2. >> “Too bad no orange kitty beans. I’d get in line for one of those. (Have an hankering.)”

                I thought you were forbidden to look for another cat while your current ones are still around?

                  1. Oh, for fuck’s sake. Just call Leslie Fish already and ask her if she’s got an orange hairball to spare and a hankering for a road trip. 😉

                    1. As I posted earlier, Leslie is having medical issues with her cats. I’m not sure she has one to spare.

                      So far, she’s having issues with GoFundMe, but her paypal works: lesliefish@cox.net

                    2. I put up a post that Leslie is having medical issues with her cats and may not have one to spare. It counted her e-mail for PayPal as a second link and put it in the spam folder.

    2. >> “three of the boxes say books, not one,”

      Oh, it’s MUCH worse than that:

      The pets, by the way, are not pleased with this arrangement.

  6. Been there, done that. Don’t need to do it any more, thank G*d. Can’t find the post that I did about unpacking at the other end of a military move.
    Pity. I have such a huge archive of posts, sometimes, it’s hard to find the ones that I want.

  7. I still have some boxes and baskets of stuff that I brought home from my mother’s house when I was cleaning it out for sale. They’ve been sitting around for a couple of years now. I feel your pain!

    1. Mom died in 2001. I STILL have boxes. Not as many as my poor sister, though – we got through one storage shed the other week, and then BIL showed me the garage

      Thank goodness she is the other one with kids; I have no chance of inheriting…

  8. The last time I did an interstate move I used an employer-paid moving company. When they came to pack things and load the truck, I told them, “You’re going to need more boxes for the books.” And then, “No, you’re going to need *more boxes than that* for the books.”

    1. *snicker*
      When I packed out of where we lived in Spain in 1994, the very efficient packing crew of local nationals had a pool going on how many boxes of books there would be, when they finally finished. (The crew boss, who spoke English, told me that he had never seen so many books in the house of someone who wasn’t a professor at a university.) The cartons of books topped out at 65 – I don’t know what the winner of the pool got, but I gave them a case of beer when they were done. Pack out normally took two days – one day to wrap and pad everything, the next day to Tetris it all into several enormous wooden crates for shipment.

  9. What’s the rush? We sold our home in June, dumped everything we didn’t immediately need into a storage locker, I’ve been sorting ever since. One box a week. It’s simply amazing the treasures people have in their attics. I’ve found Father’s Day cards from 30 years ago; newspaper clippings of hometown friends made good; a cartoon I thought I’d lost forever . . . and about 10 acres worth of dead trees wasted on copies of bills and letters nobody will ever read again. Marking each sorted box “SHRED” generates immense catharsis. And space – soon we’ll need a smaller (cheaper) storage locker.

    Take your time. Enjoy the memories.

  10. I’ll be curious how many boxes ended up in the ‘wrong’ place… I was finding kitchen boxes (clearly labeled) in the bedroom… sigh

    1. Considering we moved ourselves, the most bizarre part is how boxes got miss-marked. I was working in such a fog that I labeled “bedroom” boxes from the bathroom. “Kitchen” boxes from the office, et.

      1. Our last move we moved ourselves, all of about 3 miles? Rental to owned. We had kept the good boxes, flattened, from our prior company forced move (*paid by company) knowing we’d be buying, eventually. Even the forced move we helped pack everything except the breakables and pictures because the moving company showed up short handed. Hubby helped with the loading while I quickly packed. Not only marked but color coded large sticky organizers on boxes for the rooms boxes came out of and were suppose to go into. Worked beautifully … um, not exactly. About the only things that ended up where they were suppose to were furniture. Well cats, electronics, and firearms (before the boat accident), which we moved ourselves.

        * Note, said company doesn’t pay to move households on forced moves anymore. A small part of why when hubby was forced to base out a location 400+ miles north, we didn’t move the household. A small tipping reason. We never had to worry about a cross country or international forced move. His job is a PNW and Alaska job, and the company he worked for was mostly I-5 corridor, with some coastal options.

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