Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tweed in Texas

Before I tell you how it went transporting Tweed to Texas, first let me give you the background story on how Tweed became our kitty. Tweed was born in Macomb, IL in 2004. At the time, my brother Jon was attending Western Illinois University in Macomb. Jon has a huge soft spot for cute things in general, but specifically baby animals, kittens included. By this time in Jon's college career he knew the ins and outs of Macomb quite well. One day he came upon a place were alley cats were living, and found a litter of sickly-looking kittens. He just couldn't help himself, he reached out and picked up a little grey puff ball of a kitten and took her home, and named her Tweed. Luckily, the only illness that Tweed had was a cold, and after a few weeks living with Jon she was a healthy little kitten with a happy home. After graduation, Jon brought Tweed home with him to Mom and Dad's house in Peoria, IL where she lived for about 6 months. But Mom and Dad already had 2 cats. So, after Jason and I got married, we said that we would take Tweed with us to Saint Louis. After a trip home for Thanksgiving, we did just that. Tweed is a super cute kitty. She's a polydactile (extra toes) Blue Russian. Polydactile cats are sometimes referred to as the "Hemingway cats" known for living in Key West. She has huge paws that look like baseball mitts and one "snaggle toe." She has a sweet, curious personality.

Upon leaving our St. Louis home on Saturday afternoon, we put Tweed in her airline regulation carry-on kitty carrier. She did the usual crying on the ride to the airport, and while we checked in. Tweed pretty much cries the whole time she's in the carrier on the way to and from the vet. Then it was time to go through security. We didn't know this ahead of time, but in order to take a pet through security, you have to take it out of the carrier and walk through the metal detector with the pet. The carrier goes through the x-ray machine. This was very stressful for us. Jason took Tweed through, and I think site of the unfamiliar airport scared her so much, that afterwards she happily went back into the safety of her carrier and stopped crying. She was pretty good for the plane ride, and we encounter lots of cat lovers along the way who admired her. As long as one of us kept a hand in the carrier and petted her, she didn't cry. We opened up the lid a few times and let her peek out and stretch. The stewardess was a big cat lover and told us we could get her out (!). But we didn't want to risk her getting away from us. The plane was noisy enough where any mewing she might have done went largely unnoticed. During the descent and landing, she started to get a bit more antsy. It had gotten hot in the back of the plane (it was a crappy plane) and I think the heat and motion was getting to her. After we got off the plane she settled down and was very quiet. So it was a quick stop by Petco for litter and box, and then to the house.

Upon arrival at our house we heard an extremely loud and distressed sound of a cat crying. We thought maybe this cat was somehow trapped in our house, it was so loud. Outside our home we have a very large water reclamation vessel, called an ONG, or as I like the call it, the Honk. The Honk holds up to 400 gallons of water, and collects the water from the AC unit. We realized there was a cat trapped in the Honk!!! It's cry was being amplified by the hollow Honk. So not only do we force our kitty to spend 6 hours in a carrier, but we take her to this strange empty house where cats are apparently tortured. After a trip to the store for a flashlight, Jason got the cat out of the Honk by getting partway in on a step stool. The cat was cold and shivering; the water level was just low enough where the cats head was above. We're not sure if we left the lid off, or it was blown off by wind. Anyway, a neighbor who knew the cat belonged to another neighbor dried him off and send him on his way.

Tweed was pretty freaked out and after the carrier was opened for her, she stayed inside for the first hour. Then she went cautiously through the house. She seemed pretty unsettled for the first 24 hours in the house, but seems to be getting used to it now. She is eating very little, but there has been activity in the litter box, so all bodily functions are a go. She slept with us on the air mattress last night. She's a little more needy than usual, but I think she's going to like it here. She grounded to the house for now, maybe after a few weeks we'll take her out on the leash. I think right now she misses all her cozy places for nap taking, so after we get some furniture in here, she'll be much more happy. Tomorrow morning- moving truck arrives.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moving Day

It turns out moving presented us with some logistical challenges. Jason and I explored many variations of how we might move the 2 of us, 2 pets, 2 cars, and all our stuff down to Texas, and still leave our house in St. Louis staged. We also wanted to be able to live comfortably in our St. Louis home when we're in town, until the house sells. We also wanted to have one car in St. Louis, and one car in San An until the house sells. So here's the plan that was settled on and is in the process of being executed. The packers were here yesterday, everything that goes to San An is packed. The movers are here now, everything from the house that is going to San An is on a truck. Jason and I are flying to Texas with our cat (yes, cat on a plane) on Saturday. We will then rent a car and live in San An for the following week and a half. The moving truck will arrive on Monday. Before Christmas, we fly back to St. Louis, spend Christmas in St. Louis. Then, we drive down to Texas in J's car with the dog after Christmas. When the house sells, the rest of the stuff gets moved, and we'll have a 2nd road trip with my Civic. I was very busy the previous week getting everything organized for the packers. Many trips to Good Will and the dumpster were made in the process. There is nothing like a cross-country move to help you declutter. Now everything is on autopilot, the moving company took over. The biggest unknown right now is how Tweed the kitty is going to do on the airplane. We have the airline regulation size cat carry on, and she'll be our under-the-seat bag.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Link to more Pictures

I have received a lot requests for more house pictures. Here is the website to view all of my pictures. There are a lot of house pictures from Oct 30th and Nov11th. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

We are now the proud owners of 2 homes

On Sunday Jason and I returned to San Antonio to close on our house. We stayed one night in a hotel, and on Monday we closed and got the keys. We spent 2 nights in our empty home, and now are in Peoria for Thanksgiving. After spending 3 days in a completely empty home, I have a whole new appreciation for furniture. Jason went to work during the day while I ran errands, met with the guys to get the necessary utilities and services set up. I also took measurements and ordered furniture. On Wednesday I met with the Dish Network guy, the Pool Guy, and the ADT security system guy. We discovered some new things about our home. There is a train that goes through San Antonio, and I'm told I will get used to the intermittent horn tooting. All of our lights have a dimmer switch. The previous owner left us a tv in the bathroom. It is difficult to figure out which of the 15 keys goes with which of the 15 locks. You will lock yourself out of the home if you close the door behind you and don't have the keys. Jason can unlock windows with a piece of wire. It is very cold if you go to bed on an air mattress in late November in San Antonio, and don't turn on the heat. When you are very cold at night, cuddling with your spouse helps. It is very nice to fly with your technically sound husband, because he plays movies on his laptop for you during the flight. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The House of Perpetual Immaculate Cleanliness

Well, Jason arrived safely back in St. Louis this evening. And I'm off to Chicago tomorrow. It was nice to see him in passing, though. I've spent the past week extremely busy getting our St. Louis home ready to sell. This has involved several all day kamikaze cleaning sessions, meetings with realtors, and endless amounts of running errands. I'm on alert because now that the house is listed, I could get a call giving me only a 2-3 hour warning that I need to leave the house, with the dog, and have it be ready to be viewed by strangers. After walking through the house and looking at it through the eyes of a person looking at it for the first time, I realized that we have some strange things... like a cat scratching post in the middle of the hallway. Some might find it gross to keep you cat food bowl up on the kitchen counter (in order to keep the dog from constantly eating the cat's food). I've moved the cat food bowl down to the basement, and Tweed is not happy about it.

I'm off to Chicago to visit 2 of my dearest friends from High School-Jenny P and Liz. Jenny is the first of the bunch to be turning 30. I need to go watch Jenny turn 30 to see how to handle this situation (the turning 30 situation, that is) because it will be my turn soon. I decided when I was 26 that 26 was the perfect age, and if given the choice, that was the age I would like to remain always. Liz said that same thought occurred to her when she was 27. Yet, somehow 3 more years have gone by since I was the perfect age of 26. I can't wait to take a break from my ever-growing, endless to-do lists and just enjoy some time with my friends.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We have found our Texas Home

Hi everyone, Jason and I will soon be moving from our home in St. Louis, MO to San Antonio, TX. So, I wanted to start this blog as a way to keep in touch with everyone and give updates on Jason and Amanda's Texas Adventure. In October, Jason's company, Slicehost, was acquired by another webhosting company, Rackspace. We often compared Slicehost to a baby because when it was born in summer of 2006, it often woke Jason up in the middle of the night, many times a night. At first, the Slicehost pager would wake me up, not Jason, and then I woke him up. After a while, I began to sleep through the pages, and Jason would jump up, put on his cape, and run to the office to see what was going on. Often times, he would have to drive downtown in the middle of the night in order to fix the problem. In the past year, Slicehost had gotten much better at sleeping through the night, mainly because new employees were hired to watch it during those hours. Well, now Jason sold his baby, and we are looking forward to nights of uninterrupted sleep.

A couple of weeks ago Jason and were down in San Antonio, with the express purpose of finding a house. I told Jason I would fly down to meet him on a Wednesday, and fly back on a Friday, IF he promised me that he would NOT WORK at all on Thursday so we could spend the day house-hunting. He agreed. Several people from Rackspace did vie for his time, and he told them no. After looking online, we had our eye on a particular house, which we began to refer to as "The house on French." That Wednesday evening I arrived in Texas, and after a few beers on an empty stomach, I told Jason that I thought the house on French was "the one". Well, it turns out the house on French is it. Jason is back in Texas this week for work, and to go through the house with the inspector. He's going to take more pictures of it this time. But for now, all I have to show is the pool. But, that's the only part that really matters anyway. If everything goes well, this will be our house. And, if you visit us in the house on French, bring someone you like, because you have to French in the house on French.