Saturday, January 30, 2016

Everything's Bigger In Texas - Including The Rats

Yep, you read that right, but I'll get to the rats in a bit.

So.  Texas.

My husband was offered a new job, and none of us were opposed to the idea, so he took it, and we started planning our big move to The Lonestar State.  Everything went pretty smoothly, and I was kind of thinking "This isn't so hard, psssht."  Famous last words, people.  Famous last words.

We were due to leave the morning of Friday, January 22.  BUT, as luck would have it, the first snow/ice debacle of the year in good old NC was due to begin in the wee hours of the morning, so we adjusted our plans and decided we'd leave at 10pm on Thursday night, and drive into Atlanta to get ahead of the storm.  Key word being PLANNED.  It took us about 45 minutes longer than we anticipated to take care of last minute stuff, and load the van.  We spent about 20 of those minutes imploring our oldest to PLEASE get out of the van, because we weren't ready to go... and she spent those 20 minutes defying us, and running in and out of the van, keeping the doors open, turning on lights, etc.

At about  12 freaking TWENTY we are finally ready to hit the road.  We all pile into the van, and NOTHING.  Nothing.  Because of a certain someone, the battery was deader than dead.  Fried.  But my husband is a freaking genius, and after about 1.5 hours of coaxing, cleaning, coddling, and charging, he got the damned thing to crank, and we made it as far as Greenville before having to stop and sleep a little.  Of course the battery was totally dead in the morning, so AAA to the rescue!  We headed out to New Orleans in just a few hours.

New Orleans was freaking freezing when we were there, but awesome nonetheless. So much history and awesomeness there... the cemetery was of particular interest for the genealogy buff.  The tombs are above ground, and amazing!  Upon your death you get to stay intact for a year and a day, and then your remains (whatever is left after the effects of granite combined with a sweltering summer are done with you) are gathered up and put into a common area in the tomb to make room for the next family member.  The ultimate in recycling!  Some tombs hold hundreds, or even thousands of people!  NOLA is apparently very very haunted, but we saw nothing... our hotel was 'new' and not haunted.  Boo!  :(  I don't think I need to mention that the food and the booze were awesome - and I fully intend to hit Bourbon Street sometime, sans kiddos.

After our little mini-vacation in NOLA, we got on with the business at hand - the last of our long-ass trip into Texas.  (Here's where the rats come in, BTW.)  It was such a relief to finally arrive, and see our rental house in person (we rented it basically sight-unseen - only a few pictures).  Everything was great until we went into the kids' wing.  It STUNK.  Long story short, it smelled like pee, and I found poop in a closet.  Apparently RAT POOP, from the 8-10" long (nose to butt, not including tail) rats that had taken up residence in the attic while the house was unoccupied.  The landlord is fixing it, but we still have no access to the kids' wing, and there are boxes of their stuff everywhere that we can do nothing with, because we can't freaking use 1/3rd of the house.  UGH.

Did I mention boxes of stuff?  Everywhere?
Yep.  The kitchen is half the size of our old one, and there is no usable attic space in this house.  Workable, though.

What's not workable is that 80% of our furniture is either destroyed completely, or aesthetically ruined, thanks to the movers who packed our truck in NC.  They sucked, did it wrong, and nearly everything was ruined in transit.  Needless to say, IKEA is now our BFF, while we attempt replace enough to make things livable.  We are so sick of putting stuff together, and lugging heavy boxes.  Just me and my husband, because we know nobody here to help.  They are delivering a couch tomorrow, thank the LORD, because sitting on the floor for a week is long enough!

So, yeah.  This is hard.

The bright sides:
Our view is utterly spectacular.  There's a lake in our front yard.
There are six foot long wind chimes that sound like church bells in the beautiful, mature tree in the front yard.
The house is charming (despite the unwelcome guests).
My kids have already made several friends in our new neighborhood.
The weather is awesome.  It was in the 70's today, and will be in the 80's tomorrow - in JANUARY.
The restaurants are great.
The grocery stores are HUGE, and have everything you can think of.
There's an amazing water feature in our yard.
There's a creek in the back that our awesome neighbors have invited our kids to play in, anytime.

We are here, though, and working hard to get settled in Austin.  I'm hoping that by this time next year I might have everything unpacked.  :D

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