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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
June 2020
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Berkattawulfe

Because yesterday still feels incredibly unreal to me, I’m going to record it all. Bear compares yesterday to our wedding. I think he might not be too far off. I still regret not actually writing down every moment that I remember of that day, so I’m not going to make the same mistake this time.

7:00 am

I hit the snooze twice because Bear had fallen asleep at 4am only after I beat the hell out of his back and legs and pulled his hands until the joints popped to work out the worst of the anxiety. I’d only been asleep for 2 hours. We dragged out asses out of bed at 7:30, hit the bathroom, and put the two bags of stuff, blankets, and vacuum into the car.

8:00am

We ran back inside for the 5th time to grab our phones and were at the house by 8:30am. Which meant that we wandered around the backyard for 45 minutes, with breaks in the car to warm up. It wasn’t as frigid as it has been, but it was still pretty cold outside. (I’d guess about 25 degrees. Bear, if you read this, comment and correct me if I’m wrong.) I also sent a million texts to people freaking out. I was physically sick with anxiety. Bear had gotten hit with the worst of it the night before and was more running on pure excitement.

9:00am

We were warming up in the car when our real estate agent pulled up at 9:14am. We walked into the house. It was the only time we’ve seen it empty. It looked larger and the floors and walls were (and still are) dirty. We turned on the water, checked the boiler, check the stove, the lights (we have bunches of blown bulbs and empty sockets that we need to buy bulbs for), checked pipes and walls. There are stickers left on a window and walls and measurements on walls from the two little kids who used to live there. It’s actually kind of sad seeing that stuff. At 9:30 the seller’s agent showed up to pull up the SOLD sign and turn over his key. We asked about the seller’s keys and garage door opener and were told to ask the lawyer. We left for our lawyer’s office at 9:40. I got us lost despite knowing where we were going and we got to the lawyer’s office at 9:56am

10:00am

The lawyer’s conference room already had our mortgage officer and two lawyers in it when we arrived. We were asked if we wanted water, soda or anything and then got down to business. We were given pens and explanations of papers as they got passed to us for our signatures and initials. I found out later, but we got passed 102 pages in the next 40 odd minutes. The seller’s lawyer showed up and our real estate agent showed up at some point as well.

We discussed adjustment to our taxes (since the town’s old assessment was 100k over what we bought the house for) and found out that the new assessment was already very close to what we had actually bought the house for. We signed 5 copies of the HUD that aren’t counted in that 102 pages. Bear was signing stuff first, often faster than I could read and sign. I think he got into serious business mode. I realized that I need to get better at having a consistent signature. We also found out that the seller’s lawyer didn’t have either the keys or the garage door opener, so the lawyer made arrangements with the seller for her to bring us the keys.

We were all done at 10:43am and discovered that the reason our real estate agent was late to the closing was that she’d gotten us presents. A gift card to Target that was the same amount as the street number for the new house and a bottle of wine. We now have 3 bottles of wine sitting around because we don’t drink.

11:00am

We’d just gotten to the house when the seller showed up. She gave us the keys and told us that she hoped we’d be happy and that it was a great neighborhood. While she was talking to us she got teary and then started crying. Her husband and her just divorced. Bear and I are pretty sure this isn’t what she wanted. Her best friends live across the street from us. It was sad. Bear had a hard time letting her leave so upset, but there’s nothing we could do. We went back inside to do a more detailed inspection and the moved the stuff we had brought into the house. We also figured out that our garage door won’t go down unless you physically hold the inside button, I have trouble with our driveway (first set of scratches on the new car as proof), we might need a plumber to come take a look at some plumbing, and we already have a water line where the fridge goes.

12:00am

We got on the road at 12:15 to get the dining room table that we’d made arrangements to buy on craigslist. We first hit the uhaul place, got a van, drove out to get the table. It took longer than I expected to get the uhaul van and we didn’t get back on the road until almost 1pm. Also, driving a huge cargo van is kinda scary.

1:00pm

We got to the apartment at 1:15pm. The guy that sold us the table is incredibly sweet. He gave us his coffee table and linens and some crystal stuff as well. He’s moving out of state and wanted to not have to deal with any of it. We didn’t have any more cash to give him so Bear made arrangements to see if we could help him out a little more. When we’d loaded the last of the stuff into the van we were thanking him again (not just for the stuff, his friend and he helped us move all of the furniture down the two floors and into the van) and wishing him good luck and he started crying as well. Bear and I were exhausted and emotionally drained at this point.

2:00pm – 3:59pm

We got to our apartment at 2:08. We live next to a middle school and the parents start lining up at 2:15-2:20, so we had cars pulling up behind the van. We left the doors open as we pulled out all of the stuff to prevent cars from pulling up too close. We unloaded the entire van, stacked and arranged stuff in our apartment to fit it all, and tidied up a little bit. We then drove the van back and got our car and headed back to the house.

4:00pm

We took some pictures of the empty house and wandered around in a daze a bit more and then realized we were actually kind of starving. We went to a deli that we’d been recommended and got sandwiches and water. Bear and I took our stuff back to the house and ate on the kitchen counter sitting on folding chairs that we’d brought from our apartment.

5:00pm

We needed cleaning supplies and Bear refuses to take stuff like mops and brooms from one place to another so we headed out to Lowes. We were super loopy and tired so it took us over an hour to pick out a mop, broom, dust pan, sponges, cleaning stuff for hardwood floors, counter tops, cabinets, etc. We also picked out a red amaryllis that was blooming to give the empty house some color.

6:00pm – 7:59pm

We got back to the house. Bear stuffed the tiny uninsulated cat door with paper towels and plastic bags. I stuck Clorox tablets in the toilets and plugged in the air freshener. We put out the new floor mat outside the house and figured out a few more of the light switches. We have three that don’t seem to do anything. We also changed the batteries on the thermostats that were in the house. The house was 68 degrees and I was shivering. Bear could barely walk in a straight line. We felt like it was 2am in the morning. We looked around and looked at the supplies lying on the floor and made the executive decision to go back to our apartment and sleep. We lowered the temperature and left.

The plan was that we’d take a nap and wake up and pack some more at our apartment then go back to sleep. We left for the apartment at 7:30. We were completely loopy on the drive home and Bear talked (nonsense because he was so tired) to me so that I wouldn’t start drifting off and kill us.

8:00pm

By 8:30 Bear and I had taken care of emails that had accumulated during the day and passed out hard before 9pm. I think we’d logged at least 15 long phone calls to mothers and aunts and sellers and agents in addition to all the crap we took care of.

We woke up at 8am this morning. The plan is to actually clean tonight after work. Best laid plans and all that. At least I’ve actually gotten the utilities set up already.

*scoffs* the journey my ass. I want my payoff.

I haven’t blogged about this much, but I’ve got a bunch of wild growing plants in my little bit of space on the side of my house. The newest additions are the herbs:

Bear mostly cooks with thyme, so there’s two varieties (Lemon on the left, English right). The middle is basil just because I love it and I’m hoping just having fresh will encourage him to try cooking with it. I probably would have done better to buy rosemary but I’m not as fond and it’s not like he uses it much.

But the big thing is the tomatoes. First is my favorite, despite it not growing much:

The black prince tomato plant. There’s a total of 5 freaking tomatoes on it. I don’t know what’s up, but the two plants in the older planter are sad and tiny and just haven’t been growing well, but they have the biggest tomatoes, if not the most.

The paler leaves you see are the bradley plant, the darker is the black prince in on the left. The bradley plant has ONE FREAKING TOMATO. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a determine plant. If it’s the location of the planter. If it’s the fact that it’s sharing with another plant. I really really don’t get why this little plant continues to be a shrimp. If anything happens to that tomato you might see me actually freak out. The soil was different? WHY?? I wish plants could talk.

But these two aren’t the trouble makers believe it or not.

This is the siberian tomato plant. This fucker has been the biggest pain in my ass. When I had an aphid problem back in June, this plant consistently had 2x more aphids than the other plants and when the ladybugs finally finally started eating all of them this plant was the last to shake them off. It finally started sprouting fruit and then at least a 1/3 of the plant’s fruit started showing end blossom rot. I pruned that 1/3 of the plant away (it was pretty consistent among some branches so I cut kind of aggressively). I gave it dolomite (lime? calcium?) and now the cases have slowed down so that I maybe have seen 5 fruits with end blossom rot since. I’m going to wait another week and if I’m still seeing fruit with rot I’ll give it some more dolomite. The thing is that I MIXED DOLOMITE INTO THE SOIL WHEN I PLANTED. *breathes* mfing plant.

Sadly, this plant probably doesn’t even need me to tell you what the problem is. And it’s not even the plants or nature’s fault. It’s all on my head. When I bought the new planters, I didn’t consider that I didn’t have a cage for them and thus the tomatoes had no support. When I realized they needed the support, I bought some of those round wire cages from Home Depot. Then when I put the cages in place I didn’t consider that four little flimsy wires poking a few inches into the soil wasn’t going to be able to support the weight of the plant. I should have gotten my wire cutters and trimmed the bottom wires so that the bottom circle was flush against the soil to give the cage stability. I’m not even sure that would have sufficed, but it would have been better than what’s going on, which is a decent wind can knock the plant over. Mr Stripey is the best plant I’ve got with lots of decent sized fruit and healthy stems and leaves, but the poor thing keeps falling over.

Then you end up with little lost fruit like this one. Its sad and disheartening and it makes me want to beat myself. Right now the cage is tied to the fence in two different spots so that’s mostly staying upright. I have plans to find clips that I can attach to the edges of the planter and then use string to tie the cage down. I figure if it’s tied tight on all four sides, then it should be ok. I hope. The siberian plant consistently leans only in one direction, so I stole the clips from the cage to counterbalance the pull of the weight. That has kept it from completely falling over like Mr Stripey.

Spring losses

So yesterday I got home and the planters still weren’t here, but I wasn’t too fussed about it. Then about 7:30, my landlord came over and said he took some boxes into his house so they wouldn’t sit outside. I love that they are so nice and awesome about doing that for Bear and I, but sometimes I wish they’d leave the boxes be. Because then things like this happen:

So I was working on something when I got the boxes and just pushed them to the side. Then around 9 I thought, I bet it’ll be less stressful on the plants if I transplanted them at night. I really wish Bear had been awake. Sometimes I need someone to help me check the crazy. Because that’s what I did. From about 9pm until 10pm I was outside with only the light coming through the kitchen windows and the porch light from the house next to ours. (ohmygod, side rant about how much that light pisses us off? It goes straight through one of the windows that we didn’t have a shade on. Now we have a shade.) Let me tell you, putting down soil and fertilizer and dolomite(????) and moving tomato plants in the dark? In 50 degrees. I got dirt all over the sweatshirt I was wearing. As soon as I was done, it came off and went straight into the washer. But all the plants are in… not so correct planters, but everything should be fine. It was DARK. I didn’t realize until this morning, but Bradley and the Siberian were supposed to go in the same planter. Instead Siberian is now in its own and Bradley is with Black Prince. *winces* I’ll post pictures tomorrow. All the planters have covers now too. Thank Goodness, because it’s raining today and it’s supposed to keep raining for the next couple of days. The new planters have drainage holes, but the old one, that has TWO PLANTS (Why didn’t I remember last night why I only wanted one plant in the old planter??) doesn’t have drainage.

Whatever. I’m not moving another plant. They’ve already been tortured enough and it’s fucking 48 degrees outside. *cries*

And if that’s not sad enough, let me show you the beauty that is no more:

That gorgeous plant had an unusual amount of flowers this year. I love it. Every year it’s gorgeous, but this year it was spectacular. It was pulling itself down with all the flower petals. Last year there were bees and all kinds of insects around the plant well into June. This year? All of those flowers are gone already. The pictures I took are all I have left:

The tomato plants are just down that path:

At least I don’t have to worry about knocking off petals when I want to get to my tomatoes.

Sucky weekend

I’m already behind on writing Thank You cards. Bear and I had a cold from hell this weekend. The weather was freaking crazy (hot hot hot humid 97 degrees then poof thunderstorms that knocked out the power).

I slept from 10pm on Saturday until 2pm on Sunday. I got up for an hour or two in there to walk around but I’d feel so tired and achy and ill that I’d go to lay down and then I’ll fall back asleep. In between all the sleeping I’d keep taking Bear to work. All in all, the weekend kinda sucked and wasn’t productive at all.

The highlight was the tomato plants. Look at how big they are!

Do y’all see how many blooms there are? There are at least 6 bunches. Most of them are off the cherry tomato plant, which already has a few green tomatoes:

The biggest one (on the bottom) is the same one from last week. It’s grown a ton in 5 days.

This is the same bunch on Thursday the 17th. The smallest one in the back is mostly hidden by a leaf, but it’s there.

I even have two baby Beauties.

Those suckers are so hidden that I didn’t notice them until yesterday.

I realize that the tomatos are kinda boring if you aren’t the one fretting that you never gave them their second shot of fertilizer and it’s probably too late now and are the birds going to eat your tomatos and you watered them and then it rained and too much water is bad and when they are close to the house they don’t get nearly as much sun but far away from the house means that those nasty thunderstorms could rip the branches right off and they are too heavy to keep moving back and forth and back and forth and Bear is thinking you are even crazier than usual and he doesn’t want to help move them. *sighs* It’s more fun than thinking about the million thank you cards.