Saturday, August 22, 2009


I've never been so excited about a washing machine. We went two weeks without a washer and dryer, and in that short span I developed a hearty appreciation for a good old spin cycle. I have been told by various family members that my grandma never wanted a washer and dryer because she preferred going to a laundromat and filling seven machines at a time instead of taking all day at home with just one washer and one dryer. (I'm guessing that the unsaid part of this equation had something to do with the socializing potential afforded by the laundromat, but that's another story.) In any case, I did not inherit the laundromat-loving gene. I could live without a dryer - there's something very romantic and nostalgic about clothes outside on a line - but the washer is essential. But we don't have to live without either anymore; a set of brand-new Whirlpools were delivered yesterday. Yipee!
[Amendment: those brand-new Whirlpools would not be gracing our utility room if it weren't for my brother, Brian, who gets an amazing discount and felt slighted by my not mentioning him. Alas, I am happy.)

On other fronts, I had three days of orientation last week. I'm genuinely excited. The classes I'm taking sound fascinating - Caribbean Women Writers, Teaching Theory, Gender and Disease in the Victorian Novel, and a Speakers Colloquium - and I'm trying a new approach to the class I'm teaching. Classes start Monday, so this is my last weekend of relative ease for a long, long time.

I really want to bike to campus, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to work up to it. The best route for me has some killer hills. Actually, anywhere you go in Tallahassee has killer hills. The minimum elevation on my route is 75 feet. The max is 279. I don't know how much longer this will be "my" route - I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open for another one.

Finally, as promised, more pictures of the house.

Living and Dining Rooms

Guest Room (makes you want to visit, right?)
Master Bedroom - with Bug

And, just because it's funny, this is what we found under the couch when we moved:

Cat Toys

Thursday, August 20, 2009


We had Kathy from the Tallahassee Nurseries out to advise us on our landscaping this morning. TN is 70 years old this year and did the original plan over ten years ago. The previous owner was nice enough to leave the landscape drawing on the counter for us, so we had an inkling of what was there, but no idea of how to take care of it. Furthermore, things are a little overgrown right now. There's a lot of work to do, but it's mostly pruning and cleaning things up. We'll be pulling up weeds and vines and trimming back trees and bushes for a couple of weeks. There's a big oak that's got to come out. But after that happens we'll have enough sun to plant a real garden rather than the small facsimile we're tending now. The area beside the back slab will be a full-time herb garden with a huge lemongrass bush to fill in the corner, and the area across the way will become a veggie garden. Equally awesome is that there's an open area on the back right part of the property where we can put a blackberry bramble, blueberry bushes, a pomegranate, and even some banana trees! We're stoked. The more interesting things that are already on the property are lots of azaleas and camellias (both will remind us of Wilmington). We're going to learn a lot about plants and maintaining them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome to Florida

It was a long time coming, but the day finally came and we've moved into our new home in Tallahassee. It's pretty hot and muggy, and there's a storm almost every day, but that's not altogether unfamiliar. The house is pretty amazing. Here are some photos:
The House, Yard, and Driveway

Backyard, Facing the House

Backyard, From the House

Living Room

We haven't been here a week yet. It went roughly like this: Friday started at 3 am, on the road by 4, long drive to Tallahassee, in town at 2. Aimee and her folks went to closing so Dad and I started unloading a truck. We actually got all of one trailer and most of another in the house that night, which was pretty fast. For the first time in a week, we got to sleep in our own bed. Saturday was spent unloading and unpacking. Both of our folks headed back to NC. Sunday more of the same. We got a bedroom, a bathroom, and kitchen/dining area set up pretty quickly so we could live in some modicum of comfort. Monday I called the bike shop I hoped to work at, and the owner wanted me to come in that afternoon and talk to him, which I did, and which worked out great, so I started work on Tuesday, which was perhaps a little too soon (due to the amount of work at home I still need to do). Since then we've been getting settled in, hanging stuff on walls, getting cable and internet rigged, and just trying to orient ourselves to a new place. We'll post more as it occurs. Right now we're just happy to be reasonably comfortable and settled. I'm thrilled to be working (I was out of work for less than one week, which is pretty fantastic in this economy). Aimee is getting ready to start school. We've put some plants in the ground and in pots, included basil, spearmint, chives, parsley, rosemary, tomatoes, and some hot peppers. It's our first real gardening experience, and we hope it'll be a big part of our new life here.

We both own a huge debt of gratitude to our families and friends, who housed us, fed us, and helped us get down here. Without all of you, this move would have been so much more difficult and less fun. Thank you. Stay tuned for more.