Less than a month to go

January 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm (Cats, Me, Moving to the US)

We are now counting down the days before we say goodbye to our lives in Britain. Tomorrow J will be having his visa interview at the US Embassy in London. To say that tomorrow could be a turning point in our lives is an understatement! I ran out of patience on New Year’s day and booked my  flights, so I will be leaving mid-February. Depending at how tomorrow goes, so will J and the cats.

In the meantime, we’ve been busy making arrangements, canceling services, deciding what should be sold and what we should take with us (hint: not very much) and we’ve had the decorator/handyman in to finish off a lot of jobs that we’d managed to avoid in the last two years.

Yesterday, the cats went to the vet for their annual checkup and immunizations. They also got the rabies injection in preparation for their own immigration to the United States. Interesting that the rabies jab is not a requirement for pet entry to United States, but is always recommended, because it is sometimes required depending on the state. J remarked to me that it’s going to be very strange thinking of laws being at a national level and the state level, and then I reminded him that there are also county laws, and possibly city laws. Truly, the United States will seem foreign to both of us.

There is still a huge task list to get through before we can leave for the US. We’re even managing the move to the US in Basecamp!

And then, this evening I broke a handmade mug that J’s mom gave it to us, that we were planning to bring with us. Well, that makes packing a little easier (and we have two more just like it)…

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Ten years in the UK

January 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm (Me)

I’ve just had a huge milestone. I celebrated 10 years of living in the UK. Just a few drinks with colleagues the day before, and a nice evening with J on the anniversary itself.

I must admit, a few months ago I didn’t want to reach 10 years in the UK, but it at least it’s an honest response when someone asks, ‘How long were you living in the UK?’ and then I get to watch their eyes boggle…… 😉

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A new year update

January 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm (Decluttering, Moving to the US)

Happy New year 2009!  Exciting news — husband has his visa interview date scheduled for late January. This means we can be in the US by mid-to-late February!

This also means I have any lot of decluttering to do! I’ve uploaded a few photos to demonstrate.

The first photo is my desk area. Note the piles of paper, haphazardly arranged office supplies and the clutter all over the place? I am publicly shaming myself into sorting this out! And this is only the mess I comfortable sharing!! 🙂

The middle photo is the bookcase in the dining room. It contains all the books we would like to read before we leave aka The Reading Queue, plus a few (and I really do mean a few) of the books we like to keep. I know that it’s better to get rid of any books that aren’t once we frequently reference and can easily be replaced in the States…. it’s not easy though.

In the final photograph, we have the bookcase in the living room. This contains books and DVDs that we are giving away. It will probably fluctuate in volume … but I’ll be inviting friends over soon to come pillage these books plus everything else that isn’t worth selling like kitchen items, office supplies, towels, etc. etc.

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More house progress

January 1, 2009 at 10:07 pm (Cats, DIY, House renovation)

I’ve lived with crappy unfinished floorboards in my our downstairs hall since May, so New Year’s Day was spent doing work on the house.

As much as I love being an eco-minded person and the OSMO Polyx floor oil, it wasn’t in the budget this time. Instead, we’ve used a low-VOC  floor varnish in a rosewood color, which costs a third less. But the best part is this varnish touch-dry in around an hour, rather than 12 hours. You see, with two cats, it isn’t practical to use slow-drying stuff because we feel mean about locking them in a bedroom for that long…

The picture below shows the hall floor with the first coat of varnish alongside some boards in the pre-varnished state.hall-floors

To achieve this look, we removed as many old paint splatters as possible, used the hand sander to lightly sand the surface, prepped the board with white spirit, and varnished. No heavy-duty sanders involved at all. Obviously, this look isn’t for everyone. It’s quite rustic (you might say sloppy….) but it allows the character of the Victorian-era pine to show through. Interestingly, the camera flash reveals uneven color on the varnished boards, but in real life the color is fairly uniform. We’ll be doing the second coat tomorrow.

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