Friday, April 11, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 7.090: Empty rooms, full hearts

So this was it, our last day as residents of New York. We said a lot of goodbyes - starting with some of the neighbors before the kids got on the school bus. Most of the day was spent running errands (a car-load to the "transfer station" i.e. town dump), a form to fill in at the Middle School, a box to drop off at the post office; and cleaning the house. Look how lovely (and empty) we left it:

At the end of the day, we met Exile #3 from her bus and went down to the elementary school to meet Exile #4 and E5N1 and get on the road. More goodbyes, including for Exile #3 who went off down the hallways to find her 3rd and 5th grade teachers.

And with that, this chapter closes...and another begins.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 7.089: Truck!

Many of our worldly goods are now in here:

(just look at the size of it!) including some it would be useful to still have in circulation, but so it goes!

The house is rather empty and echoey, but we have beds still, so one last night in this house awaits.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 7.088: Some important business... the midst of the moving chaos.

It's E5N1's birthday!

Sadly, I'm a few hundred miles away, but here is a picture from Exile #2 of the birthday boy in his dinosaur shirt (and new pants).

He was quite excited when I spoke to him briefly on Skype and seemed to be taking the partially dismantled household in his stride.

I don't have the energy for a look-back collage today, so here are previous birthday posts if you want to do your own "Throwback Tuesday E5N1 Edition":

Day 88 (look who arrived for Easter!)
Day 1.088 (first birthday & cake!)
Day 2.088 (two UK birthday celebrations and cute brother/sister hand-holding!)
Day 3.088 (on the road in Virginia and Maryland)
Day 4.088 (destroying the Death Star)
Day 5.089 (another Easter birthday - the leap year caused the numeric discrepancy)
Day 6.088 (TARDIS, sonic screwdriver and a bonus look-back)
...and we're up-to-date!

Happy Birthday E5N1 - I'll see you in a couple of days - and each day after that for a while I hope!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7.087: Rug Capital

A few days ago, I started the countdown to our move with a last "Rug City" creation. The post is here, but I'll repost the photos to save you flicking back-and-forth:

There were some proposed solutions in the comments, but the local commenters knew the truth, now revealed thanks to Google Earth.

It is Albany, New York - the Empire State Plaza to be more specific - including the Egg, the State Museum, the Corning Tower and with a guest appearance by the Capitol Building.

Tomorrow, the packers arrive to start dismantling our home and on Thursday we will wake up for the last time as residents of New York.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 7.086: A cake-off

This morning we completed our goodbye-filled weekend with a send-off at church. We've only been going there for about a year and a half, but we were so welcomed that it feels like much longer.

It seems all-too-recently that they had a cake after the service to celebrate our membership, today we had another one to mark our departure.

A piece of it made it to Maine with me

Actually, it was a bit more than that as you might be able to discern.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 7.085: Partly party

The first half of the day included some chores related to the move, but then our friends started arriving.

It's probably a good sign that this was the only photo I took from the moment the first person arrived until after everyone had gone:

In between, there were lots of great conversations, kids charging around inside and out, food, drink and general merriment.

I had a blast - but of course it's a reminder of all that we are leaving behind this week.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 7.084: Another long (distance) day

It started like this:

with a beautiful twelve mile run in Portland, and - with a few hours of work and few hours of driving in between - is ending back in our house for two of my last three nights here. Yikes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 7.083: Throwback Thursday #2

Since he missed out on the first Exiles in New York Throwback Thursday, check out this picture of E5N1 from Day 110:

So tiny, so peaceful. So not like he is today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 7.082: I can carry it...'s light.

I can hear Exile #3 now, "You're not funny."

As for today - more back-and-forth on documents for our new mortgage interspersed with working and running. All good I think.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day 7.081: One last Rug City...

I have no idea if there will be more rug cities in our future, but I suspect this will be the last one for this blog. I made it with E5N1 when I was home one weekend in February and it seems like a fitting end to this little recurring feature.

Do you recognise it?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 7.080: Wrapping up

Well, the movers are booked and, unless several very unlikely things all occur to upset the plans, we will be leaving our house in the Capital District for the last time on April 10th (Day 7.090).

It's a sad and scary thought, but the last five months have been sufficiently difficult - both logistically and emotionally - that it is mostly a great relief!

(I don't know why, but Exile #3 decided she needed to wear all the bows from E5N1's birthday party gifts!)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 7.079: The old haunts

Funnily enough, my run at the Corning Preserve on Saturday (where I took this photo) may not be my last, even though we are leaving the Capital District in less than two weeks. Marathon training means that there's a chance I will be back there for one last run next weekend. I also had a long run in the rain this morning but that was less photogenic.

Incidentally, we are planning a farewell open house for all our Albany-area friends on Saturday - if you are not a Facebook friend of Exile #2's or my real-named alter egos and would like to come please email me (address at the bottom of the page) and let me know! We'd love to see as many local friends as we can before we cease to be local.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 7.078: Now who would like some cake?

We have a pretty crazy couple of weeks ahead. Tomorrow, I go back to Maine. After a week of work I come back here for a final chance to get the house ready for the packers who arrive on Tuesday - which happens to be E5N1's birthday. So, with all that in mind, Exile #2 smartly decided to schedule his birthday party for today (and not at the house).

He and his friends seemed to have a blast. Here is the blowing-out-the-candles moment, a view of the homemade cupcakes and E5N1 after the party sorting through the loot:

And this is how we were forewarned not to have E5N1's seventh birthday at the house (and perhaps some cake decoration inspiration):

Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 7.077: Mission accomplished

I left work at noon, ate my packed lunch on the road and only stopped to fill up the car in order to be home in time to set up the Xbox so that Exile #3 and her friends could dance. 

They are gathered for a sorry-you're-leaving party and are currently watching a movie. Various parents will be picking them up over the next hour or so.  I think they've had a good time.

Tomorrow is E5N1's turn - although he has another excuse for a party too.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 7.076: I ran a what?

All of these things have something in common:

They don't look very much like the route map I posted yesterday.

All but one of them were suggested (not the specific pictures - just the things) by either commenters on this blog, my Facebook friends or my running forum buddies.

If we count "licensed to carry small arms" as a T-rex vote, then that wins with three votes. Two votes went to each of aardvark, dog and kangaroo. There was a strong thread of puppets with Kermit, Sam the Eagle, Cookie Monster and Big Bird all featuring. Sherlock Holmes and The Stig round out the guesses - leaving just...drum roll...the mouse.

Yes I thought it looked like a mouse, but what do I know. I may have been influenced by the fact that one got into my desk drawer at work and tucked into a snack I'd left there over the weekend.

All of this nonsense did lead me to these people though - hat tip to ilanarama for that one!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 7.075: Picture a long midweek run...

Some of my Facebook friends have been trying to work out what my route from this morning's run looks like.

There is a right answer (in terms of what I thought it looked like when I designed it), but the other answers are just as much (probably more) fun so feel free to jump in in the comments!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 7.074: Cold and beautiful

The temperature was just below 10°F this morning (-12°C) when I went out for my run. I was really hoping I was done with my extreme-cold running gear, but I wore it this morning and may need it again later in the week.

There were compensations for my efforts - like this view when I was nearly done:

I was actually a bit too warm by that point, but as a result of my exertions - not the weather.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 7.073: Don't ask me why!

One sunrise, one confused expression, two runs, two lighthouses, three goofy smiles, four selfies, no good reason.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day 7.072: Two lighthouses before breakfast

For the first time in several weeks, I was able to run my long run first thing in the morning today. I decided to head south down the coast to see a couple of lighthouses.

My run took me through downtown Portland, across the bridge into South Portland and then into Cape Elizabeth.

The first lighthouse was one we visited on Exile #2 and the kids' first visit here in November.

(I didn't spend time getting a good angle - but thought I'd prove that I was there!)

and then I ran the whole length of Cape Elizabeth to the actual cape to see this one looming above Dyer Cove:

Then it was time to turn around and run the nearly-12 miles back again.

P.S. On the way back past the first lighthouse I realised I could see up the coast to this lighthouse too (for a bonus third!).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 7.071: The fruits of my...wrong turn

It's almost certainly my last weekend alone in the apartment, and so it's time to think about what needs to be done in order to move out.

This morning I decided to take my recycling out. This was a quite momentous event as I had some 72 bottles and six bags of assorted cardboard and plastic taking up quite a bit of my small kitchen. I run past the recycling place almost every day, but it was only my second attempt to get there by car and I took a wrong turning.

I found myself in a very congested parking lot, and looked up and saw it was Trader Joe's. Well, what was I supposed to do? Just drive out again? I decided to go and do a bit of grocery shopping.

I didn't end up with anything particularly Trader Joe's-y but I did buy some Mexican food and rustled up this for dinner tonight:

which I then crunched loudly on while Skyping the family. Good times.

I also disposed of all my recycling - remembering to achieve what I'd set out to do albeit after getting a bit distracted.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Day 7.070: Sleeping around... hours a night is a challenge when marathon training and even that is probably not enough.

That was my phone screen as I was going to bed last night. It was just after 9 and first alarm was set for 3:55 am - seriously, who knew that was a possible beginning-of-the-day time?! - so that I could run my 12 miles, have a shower and get to work on time. As you can see - on shorter run days I allow myself to lie in until 4:25!

The real story however involves the previous night. Wednesday night was my big night this week because Thursday was one of my two scheduled rest days. So I could get to bed, sleep for maybe 8 hours, catch up a that didn't happen.

Firstly, I stayed up too late playing 2048 (are you thanking me yet?), but it was still going to be OK when I was going to bed about 10:30 pm until at about 1 am when I was pulled unceremoniously from my sleep by a car alarm going off in the apartment complex parking lot - right outside my window. Oh well, you can't win them all - at all as I discovered when, having got back to sleep my phone rang at 2:30 because Exile #2 was in the house with three kids and a malfunctioning carbon monoxide detector. Sometimes you just have to roll with it!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 7.069: Throwback Thursday #1

So, Throwback Thursday is a thing on the interwebs - it's Thursday - post an old picture. I've done it on Facebook a bit, now I'm doing it here.

I looked back seven years in the blog - then went back another week to find a nice photo. This is what I found. Wow.

If you're interested, you can read the post here - one of the many culture-shock stories of Year 0.

As for the present day, our real estate transactions are in progress, as are move preparations, marathon training, a still-fairly-new job and all the normal things of life. None of which is very interesting to write about so you won't get to read about it (any more than that). Not today anyway.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 7.068: You can thank me later

I have just discovered (thanks to today's XKCD) 2048. It's a very addictive puzzle game that you can play on your computer or mobile device. Click here to try for yourself!

I've since introduced the rest of the family, and a cross-section of my Facebook friends to the fun.

Here is my best score to date - check out the 1024 tile (not, however, the eponymous 2048 yet)!

Enjoy and - when you're ready to complain because your whole life has fallen apart - read the second sentence again and don't say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 7.067: New England and England (new)

I haven't spent much time tweaking my PC at work. My personal touches did not go far beyond choosing a wallpaper image from the options provided by Windows - this rather Maine-ish lighthouse.

My Dad sent the image on the right - taken today on my parents' walking holiday in the Lake District. It made me a little homesick for a moment for that kind of landscape.

Not that the landscape round here is bad at all - as I remembered when I looked back at the other screen!