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Here at last!

Tonight we are crashing in a hotel that's only a few blocks away from our new house, because the electricity and water haven't been turned on yet.

The cats and dogs are house-sitting in the new house with our U-Haul parked in the driveway. Dogs have been walked, fed and watered. Cats have their litter box, gooshy food and water. Dogs are kenneled in large comfy kennels, something they have had to put up with some nights anyway if they were too rambunctious and it doesn't hurt them, cats have the run of the house.

It's beautiful, incredibly comfortable and we're all going to be happy here. Kitten really lucked on this one.

It's brown, a medium tan with reddish stonework halfway up the wall. It has one wall entirely stone with a great little fireplace and a huge hearth that's like a bench across the whole wall. Split level again with less than half the amount of stairs involved. The stairs themselves are deep and easier on my gait, they are wide enough that I don't have to place my feet precisely in order to go up or down them.

I have been in and out the front and the back. I could get downstairs on bad days from the few stairs up between the bedrooms and the living room/kitchen/dining room half of the house. In the back there's only four stairs down to the back yard and so on a bad day I could go down the stairs from my room, cross the kitchen and stroll out the back door to go into the yard and sit under the pecan tree in the back yard. Or go around to the gate and avoid the somewhat taller stairs in the front.

I can use the front door on a good day, it's really not bad compared to the stairs in Lawrence. I would have hod to use two tall flights of stairs that were a bit steep in order to use an upstairs bedroom, so I lived in what had been the rec room there and had two baby gates leading into my room. This meant that when the kids were up and watching Between the Lions or Sesame Street I would hear the same episode over and over, while I had to struggle through baby gates to leave my room for anything but the bathroom.

I'm not actually tall enough to step over baby gates. So getting out of my room involved bending over to unlatch them, pretty tough on my back, and then bending over to latch them again or small children and large dogs would invade Cat Central, my room. I did not undress except while bathing or in the bathroom, the bathroom was on my level and the gate was on the other side of it from my room so that wasn't too bad. But it meant that a lot of times I didn't leave my room.

Going up to the front door took a pretty steep flight of steps and it was yet another one to get upstairs to where the bath was. So a lot of times I sponge bathed in my bathroom which was also the laundry room. It was not private so it needed to be kept kid-safe.

Despite these inconveniences, I was very happy there because we all got along so well. I'm not kidding -- it's not always just architecture that creates happiness or not. I just stayed in all the time and sponge bathed most of the time, getting up for a real bath maybe a couple of times a month in a good month. I think my best month I managed it four times but I was really pushing it and still needed a couple of days recovering after bath day.

Tonight, I've got a very comfortable hotel room and some macaroni and cheese with bacon takeout from Pizza Hut and some coffee. I am also exhausted.

We spent two days packing to get the stuff into the truck. I didn't do most of my own packing but I did pack seven bags and a lot of small boxes and several good size ones -- maybe a dozen of the average size boxes in all with everything I packed. Which is a lot for me. I have also spent the past five days, starting last Friday, doing very intensive kittenlet-sitting so that the two abled adults could vigorously pack.

Everything got packed well and brought.

Nothing important lost or left behind. I've got an overnight bag for tonight plus the trip bag that included my netbook, so I was able to get online here at the hotel. Complimentary Internet and a smoking room. Honking huge room. Kittenlets are in their parents' room. Smoking room with clean ashtrays and complimentary matches.

I feel horribly grungy and I want an actual thorough bath again tonight, which will probably leave me so exhausted that I sleep really well tonight. I think that it's the dust from all the packing, it feels like it got into my skin even though I did bathe before we left. A lot of stuff still got stirred around and packed and stacked and I slept on the futon last couple of nights, which was not comfortable but tolerable in its way. This is going to be a lot better.

I'm happy. Now that we're here, I'm very happy about the move.

The area is beautiful. We couldn't take the scenic route, but the non-scenic safer slightly longer route was gorgeous anyway. I got some phone cam photos on the road and sketched a couple of red-orange lilies that Kitten picked for me before we left in oil pastels. Scanner is still packed so those and other interim sketches will be posted later when we're settled in and have Internet on.

But for those who may have worried --

We're here, down and safe.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Ah, good. Glad everyone made it to the other side. :)
May. 28th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Purr thanks. LOL you make it sound like I crossed an ocean or several new planes of existence. Actually considering how wonderful the South is both in climate and people, it's sorta like being on another, nicer planet!
May. 27th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
Congratulations on your new home. It sounds wonderful. Hope you all will be very happy there. :)
May. 28th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, I am, happier every day we're here. It's fun.
May. 27th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you had a safe journey and like the new place!
May. 28th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
Purr thank you! It's even cooler than I described, have had a couple of days of poking into corners and making interesting discoveries... including just how good it is for my mobility. Wow wow wow!
May. 27th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
So glad the move was low stress in nature and completed without major hitch!

When you are settled you need to send your new address because I have something to mail you (actually- two things).

Also, I haven't "known" you all that long. At some point, and it doesn't have to be public or soon, I would really like a bit more insight into your home-life. (You have pet names for some of the family, don't delve into a lot of non-public issues, etc. - and I appreciate that) I would love the opportunity to better understand who you live with and how that came to happen.

Maybe I should be a better friend and send you emails rather than comments.... damn, I suck!
May. 28th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Purrr will do. Message me your email and I'll send address and tons of information that I don't usually blog. Kitten tends to be fairly cautious about putting personal information online since we have small children. Boy three and girl five. It seemed sensible to me. I never really thought about pedophiles much (I think I scared them when I was small), but I can and do respect her boundaries about what to make public or not.

LOL at least I know my address now. I didn't till a day after we moved in. They were Extremely Busy and it didn't matter till we were in the hotel and I had to forward the mail online.

But some things are public and easily sorted out in a comment.

When she was fourteen, I met Kitten, who had a succession of stepdads ranging from forgettably annoying to outright unworthy. She'd never really had a father. We grew close. One day a couple of years later I was ruminating out loud about life and life plans mentioning that when I got settled and prosperous enough to afford to, I wanted to adopt creative, intelligent teenagers.

She looked at me and said "You did great with the one you have."

From that point I've been her dad. She needed a dad and I fell in love with her in a way that's not romantic in the usual sense, but very deep. We've been very close. We still are. We lived together several times and at other times went our own ways, she's always been the easiest person to live with that I've ever known and a person of amazing uncommon sense.

She married Karl a year after I moved in, they started dating a while before I moved in. She has two children, a five year old girl and a three year old boy. For years I put off legally adopting her because her grandparents, now deceased, already had, but I intend to take care of that legality at some point after we're settled in -- it wasn't important but it would be if anything happened to her so that I'd still have ties to the kittenlets.

They help me so much and think of it as no trouble. I help them out in ways they'd be hard put to find too, because I often look after the kittenlets and beyond what any babysitter could, I love the kittenlets and understand and share their ideas on how to raise the kittenlets. To all of our pride, the kittenlets are bright, healthy and amazingly well behaved children.

We have achieved consistency and have easy communication on how to watch kittenlets, what is/isn't a spanking offense and what is/isn't reasonable politeness. They test the boundaries but the boundaries do not change often or drastically -- as they get older they lighten up a little but the kittenlets are very secure on things because of that. They astonish me sometimes at how well they behave and how totally exuberant they are.

Kids, dogs, cats are all happy. Our newest cat, Gemini, has gained a bit of weight and become pleasingly plump, she went from tiny bony waif to small butterball still with tiny feet and not very long. She's utterly sweet and purrs when anyone pets her, including Sascha.

As for the nicknames, actually we use them offline most of the time too. I only hear their actual names if they're dealing with something like the post office or utilities or something.

Also, Kitten is a farrier's apprentice and that's the whole reason we moved here, so that when she graduates to being a certified farrier sometime late summer/fall when the exams are held, she can join the school and its farrier business full time. She has loved horses since she was Sascha's age or younger. Sascha was excited about the trip because she got to see horses so we have moved to Where The Horsies Are now.

And the mountains. We came through some amazing mountains and I love them, have grand hopes of plein air here that I just could not physically manage in Kanssa.
May. 27th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the move went well, and that you're all safe and sound! :D

I also second ofinsea's request for your new address, since I occasionally find things that make me go, "Ooh, Robert Sloan might like that." :p (Something I tend to do for all my friends, really, so long as they don't mind receiving randomly-timed gifts.) Plus I still have that damned money I need to send you, which I thought I already had but only the other week found still sitting on top of a dresser.
May. 28th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Welcome to Arkansas!

I had been wondering how you've been and how the move is going.

You don't live very far from my sister. You are directly east of her.

I'm glad your new place makes mobility easier for you. That makes a huge difference.

Have fun!

May. 28th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
This is great! Thanks!

Cool to know. Does your sister also draw?
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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