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Today’s the day – we’re closing on both houses this afternoon!  Hurrah for being essentially done!  And hurrah for not having 2 house payments anymore!

Since I’ll be taking off soon for the closings, I just thought I’d leave you one photo from our trip to Illinois:

CousinsCan you tell they’re related?

We’ve returned, somewot triumphant, from the Land of Lincoln.

But I forgot my camera cord at home…so no pictures.

We saw many things, visited many folks, packed up mom’s house, and drove 15.5 hours across 4 states back to South Dakota.  We would have been home sooner except for a detour through the Wisconsin Dells due to a major accident that shut down the interstate.  We also witnessed a nice RV fire on the side of the interstate.  My heart goes out to the poor family who stood by watching their camper (and vacation) literally go up in flames.  We were also lucky to see hardly any police.  The Boy is such a great traveler.  Or course it helps that we totally tuckered him out in the days before the drive.  He slept across most of Cheeseland, woke up for Minnesota and nearly all of South Dakota, and then slept for another hour between Wall and home.  When he was awake he played happily in his car seat and talked our ears off.  Luckily the interstate provides plenty of trucks, tractors, and windmills for amusement.

In the mean time, I picked up a wicked summer cold.  Nice.  (No, it is not swine flu.  No aches, no fever, no headaches, no bonecrushing fatigue.)  Just lots of stuffiness and a rumbling cough that likes to wake me up at night.  It’s been going around up here at work and at daycare.  I’d hoped my fleeing to Chicago would prevent me from getting it.  Instead it seems to have ensured I was nailed.  My cough has been much more productive the last day or so, the chest not so tight.  Too bad being pregnant does nothing for your lung capacity, so it’s hard to say if that’s coming back or not.  It set up house on Saturday, so I figure I have another day or so of real misery.  The folks up here who’ve been hit have said about a week of bad symptoms and then it tapers off for another week.  I took a sick day yesterday, came in today to check in and may take the rest of the week off depending on how I sleep.  (Well, I’m taking Friday afternoon off no matter since we’re closing on both houses then!)  I hate when people come to work sick to spread the love.  You’ve got sick time.  Use it.   (She says while sitting in her office at work.)

So, we’ve emptied most of the old house for mom.  We’ll pick up the rest of the stuff from the basement tonite with Josh’s parents help.  But there are lots of piles and boxes sitting about at the new place because I just don’t feel much up to unpacking or nesting.

It was a great trip overall.  And I’ll tell you all about it in a few days time when I get the photos downloaded and my head back under control.

Guess what we did yesterday?

We started moving!

A super huge thanks to Josh’s parents.  Even if his dad did try to wreck the bobcat.  Luckily his mom and I weren’t there at the time.  Unfortunately, his mom and I weren’t there at the time…so no pictures.  But we hauled all the large pieces of furniture except our chest freezer over and I took 2.5 loads in our Monterro.  Full to the brim.  The last 1/2 load included the three cats.

First, a photo:

Railing

Here’s a shot of the semi-finished railing.  It’s finished enough for us to close on the house, but it’s still missing post covers.  Luckily, we got our money back for the crummy ones.  We also found a solution to the problem.  See, you’re supposed to put the covers on before the posts go up, so most are sold in one solid formed piece.  We don’t have that luxury.  But we found what is basically trim work for siding that is the right size.  We can miter the edges and just form a case around the posts.  And it’s going to cost about half what everything else was pricing.  So maybe we’ll get that done this summer.

We also finished a lot of detail work and general clean up over the weekend.  Josh and his dad did the dirt work in front and Josh put in the pavers for our temporary walkway.  (Eventually we’ll put in a cobblestone path and move the pavers to make a patio in the back.  But we needed something right.now.)  This morning we had our final inspection and appraisal walk-through.  It went very well, and hopefully the gal will tell us it’s worth way more than what we spent.

So last night was our first night in the new house!  It was a great feeling of accomplishment, even if there are a few things left to be done (besides moving all our crap).  But the cats did not make it a peaceful night.

Let Us OutThe Three Amigos.  Kind of.

We didn’t move them until almost 7:30 pm.  The two young ‘uns (on the left and center above) hid out in the entertainment center until about 4 am before causing a ruckus.  The old man of the group (on the right) was much more obnoxious.  This is the 3rd time he’s moved with me, and I have no idea how many times he’d moved before that, so he took the whole move in stride in terms of eh, a new place.  He’s 17 years old – that’s pretty up there for a cat.  And we’re pretty sure he’s going senile.  He definitely agrees with the Boy – a half empty house has great acoustics.  He mrow’d and flat out howled half the night away.  He does this a couple nights a week at the old house, usually in the basement.  But now?  Oy vey.  Unfortunately he’s been having health trouble for a few years now, and I’m afraid he’s just not going to last much longer.  He’s lost more than half his weight, hardly eats, sleeps most of the time, won’t take care of himself, and just generally seems out of it.  But every time I pick up the phone to make the call to the vet, he rallies.  He’s the last of the cats I brought with me, and for some reason I just have a hard time with the thought of letting him go.  He’s always been a total love bug and is one of the most gentle and tolerant cats I’ve ever known.  And in his heyday he was quite a cat – he’s a Norwegian Forest Cat, has a full lion’s mane, and is about the size of a Lhasa Apso.  At one point he was near 30 pounds.

*sigh*  Back to better topics…

Another major piece of news I am now being allowed to report:  we sold our (other) house!  You’ll never guess who’s buying it.  My mom!  How’s that for everything working out perfectly!  She received a decent offer back when we were in Yellowstone and just last week the appraisal came through and everything is a go.  At least that gives me a bit of time to move everything out of that house… *grin*  Since mom will be leaving the Chi-town area, the Boy and I are flying back on Wednesday to see relatives, go to the zoo, and get (my) Chicago fix.  Then we’ll drive Mom’s car back out here on Monday.  (She hired a mover (thank heavens!) so it’s just the car.)  Wish us luck.  It’s normaly about a 13 hour drive.  I want to do it all in one day.  The Boy does really well for one day in a car.  The second day is a nightmare.  I don’t mind long road trips, so my plan is to plow through and get it all done.  Josh and mom are suspicious.  I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Oh yeah!  I almost forgot – one last photo for you:

cutietrain

While our visitors were here on Friday, we spent the morning at Reptile Gardens.  The Boy will tell you all about the alligators he saw, maybe the big turtles or the snakes.  But his favorite spot was the sandbox.  Here he turned the railroad tie border into his own personal choo-choo train.  He was very sad to see “his girls” go home on Saturday morning, but we’ll see them again this weekend while we’re back in Chicago!