Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Trailer

Well, what do you think about this little, ole trailer?? Can't you see us driving into Mexico with all of our worldly possessions in tow? We are so happy with it!

And now as we are moving items from the house into the garage for the garage sale/donation/dump run/and keeper piles we are getting a better idea of just how much we can take with us and how to pack it in the trailer.

We sold our first piece of furniture today - the bar. A real nice guy named John bought it for his school-teacher daughter for a Christmas gift. Funny, huh...a dad buying a bar for his teacher daughter...I wonder if we'll miss it when we are teachers in Mexico?!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Live Nativity

We made it to the Duvall Church's Live Nativity on Sat night and found a petting zoo with not only mini burros and an alpaca, but goats and rabbits too. The Live Nativity was quite a production and the camels were behaving very nicely!

Sunday morning we took a hard look at all of the things we want to take to Mexico with us and we realized that there is no way everything will fit into our Nissan's canopy. Gulp. What to do? We are already going "bare bones" and can't leave anything more behind. Mike got on the internet and found that we could get a small trailer to tow and they are relatively cheap. So he made some calls and this morning we went to Olympia and bought a 5x8 trailer. It looks good (pic to follow tomorrow) and we are relieved that we'll have enough room now.

I drove home and found it was pretty easy to maneuver – going forward, that is. When we got to our driveway I attempted to back down and found out very quickly that it is harder than it looks! I gave it a shot and then Mike took over. I guess I’ll need some practice in an empty parking lot – a LARGE, EMPTY parking lot – so that I can get the hang of it. I still don’t understand why you have to turn left when you want the trailer to go right…

Friday, December 14, 2007

Camel Break

Wheeeewwww…I guess we didn’t realize how much work we have to do before moving!!! All morning we were packing, sorting and prepping – prepping our house for new paint, carpet, flooring, millwork, fixtures and an upgrade to the bathroom off our bedroom. In Mike’s younger days he did a lot of this sort of labor and today he said that the years have taken their toll and he is worn out! (Plus, he's still recovering from when I backed into him with the truck.)

And yet while it is difficult to throw “stuff” out, we are realizing just how unimportant a lot of our “stuff” really is. The treasures we will keep – pictures, letters, special greeting cards, Mike’s Harley stuff, my cow spot stuff (especially all the neat clothing items from Linda!), yearbooks, report cards, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett and Bob Dylan CD’s. But it is challenging to image just what we’ll be able to cram into the Nissan canopy to take with us to Mexico.

Around 3:00 we finally took a break and drove into town to see the camels. You see the Duvall Church is having its 3rd annual Live Nativity for three nights this week and the parking lot is filled with vignettes that come alive at night. And one vignette includes two live camels in a “pasture.” The camels saw me coming and they walked right over to me – not scared at all. And Mike stood back wondering if they would spit at me. But they didn’t! We were the only ones there and the camels were very friendly.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tunes in the Dunes

Mike's poor ole body is aching today - even after an early morning hot tub with snow lightly falling.

So what to do? If you need a cure for a cold, blustery day, or just a day when things aren’t going well, we suggest Jimmy Buffett.

Specifically, the DVD that comes with “Live in Anguilla.” From the liner notes, “Jimmy’s music is a mixture of pop, country, and rock with a heavy Caribbean influence designed to carry the message that the purpose of life is to be happy and that music wipes away all tears” – I could have not have said it better and that’s all I have to say.

We sat in our living room with the fireplace blasting and sang the familiar tunes with Jimmy in Anguilla…what a way to spend an hour on a cold Sunday afternoon…We have about 39 Jimmy Buffett CD’s and they will all accompany us to Mexico…

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cintia y el carro

About 5 weeks ago we sold our Toyota truck and bought a Nissan truck that has an extended cab so we can take our dog, Sitka, with us to Mexico. I have been driving the new truck a lot and although it is longer and more challenging to maneuver in tight spaces I feel confident driving it. Or should I say I FELT confident until Thursday night…

I had Sitka in the back, inside the canopy, and Mike in the passenger seat as we were about to head out to run an errand. I took off, and hit the remote garage door opener/closer to close the garage. However, the truck had not yet cleared the garage door and we heard a loud BOOM as the garage door slammed down onto the canopy rear window (which was in the “up” position.) WHOOPS. The window shattered and there was broken glass all over the driveway. Sitka was okay so we took her out, cleaned up and went on our way. Except that I felt like a dummy for making such a stupid mistake.

Mike spent Friday making calls to get the window replaced and I laid low – not knowing the worst was yet to come.

Mike and I came home after shopping on Friday and he jumped out of the truck at the top of our driveway so he could bring our garbage can down to the house. I whipped the truck around and began backing down the driveway (which I do every single day – back down into the garage.) For reasons unknown, I hit the gas pedal and looked in my side view mirror to guide myself down the winding driveway. In hindsight, I should have looked in the rear view mirror – to remind myself that Mike was pushing the garbage can down the driveway.

In a heartbeat I heard a crashing sound which was the garbage can hitting the asphalt. I could not see Mike – only his baseball cap several feet from the back of the truck. I thought I was going to get sick. I put the brake on, turned off the engine, and jumped out of the truck. I found Mike about 10 feet from the truck, kinda balled up, but moving. He pulled himself up and asked what in the heck was I doing. I could not believe it, but I had backed right into Mike’s back and thrown him down the driveway. By some miracle, he was “okay.” Shaken up, bruised, achy, but no broken bones – and no head injury – I hope.

So we spent some time in the hot tub soothing his bruised body. He is a little cranky with me (duh), but I think he will be fine. I just hope that I have not jinxed the Nissan prior to our drive to Mexico…

Monday, December 3, 2007

VERY Rainy Day

Wow! For those of you who haven't heard, we had a LOT of rain here today - over 4" so far in Seattle.

But what a wonderful day for packing, sorting and throwing stuff out. Mike was napping so it was so much easier to throw things out without telling him! He wants to keep everything and I am just the opposite. We have a friend that lives on a sailboat and she told me how "freeing" it was for her to scale down and I understand what she was talking about. Thanks Ann!

And I took down all of our clocks. Have you ever lived without a clock on the wall in every room? Now I find myself looking up for the time and the time is not there. Oh well. As Jimmy Buffett sings, "Scales and clocks just can't be trusted..." Now I'm going to throw out the scale!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snow Day!

Growing up in the Seattle area, we relished "snow days" when we are kids. Because it doesn't often snow in Seattle, the area basically "closes down" once the snow hits and as a kid that meant NO SCHOOL! I'd describe today in Duvall as a snow day.

We woke up to about 6" on our deck and it was still coming down. Hard. Just what I would have wanted when I was a kid. So I got up and went out and played in it with Sitka. She loves it!

But we didn't get much more packing done today...just enjoyed the peace and quiet of the falling snow while knowing this will be our last winter with snow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spanish class

¡Buenos Noches!

Mike and I are enrolled in an Intensive Spanish I class held at a local community college. We go for 2 hours a night, twice a week and tomorrow is our final class.

Neither of us speaks Spanish (although I took classes YEARS AGO) and it has been challenging! We are learning lots of vocabulary, grammar, verb tenses, masculine vs. feminine usage and plural vs. singular usage. The class size has dwindled over the 5 weeks and only 6 students attended last night. So what does that mean?? It means our professora calls on each of us more often! YIKES One of us (I won't say if it's Mike or me) studies more diligently and has a “relatively easier” time when called upon. The other of us "wings it" and has made some hilarious mistakes which have resulted in making the entire class laugh and applaud.

Our final assignment is to bring in a magazine (Mike’s bringing a Harley HOG Tales and I have a Realtor magazine – who would have guessed, huh?) and we will share our magazines with the other students and describe (in Spanish) the people we see in the magazines.

We'll get a certificate tomorrow night and we plan to register for Intensive Spanish II for winter quarter. We try to use Spanish at home (and with Sitka, our perro) as much as possible, but we both tend to invent our own words when we are stuck. And sometimes I'll throw in some sign language when I am at a loss for the Spanish word. My former sign language teachers would cringe I am sure...

So even though people have advised us that we don’t need to know Spanish to move to Mexico and teach English, we have made several trips to Mexico and always wished we could better communicate and now we’re giving it our best shot.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


As I read the 5 blogs that got me interested in blogging in the first place I now realize that I need to post to our own blog more often!

We're working on organizing on what to bring to Mexico, what to sell, what to give away and what to throw away. WOW! So here I sit in my home office in Duvall, WA trying to decide what electronic equipment I just have to take with me to Mexico. My laptop and Mike's laptop, of course. Our printer/photo maker/copy/fax machine comes next. I'm not sure about our modem and if we'll be able to work wirelessly - how does that work? And what about paper, envelopes, photo paper, print cartridges. I decided I'd leave the laser printer because the ink jet printer has so many other features. Is this a good idea?

And after we bought the Nissan truck with the extended cab and A/C (see initial post) we sold our Toyota truck - sold it in a heartbeat on Craigslist. We could not believe how many calls/emails we had about that 20-year old truck! Since I last wrote we have also sold our Acura (for a great price) and we've had some inquiries about the Harley. Mike took it for a spin today. I know it will be hard for him to part with the Fatboy.

I ordered and received my holiday cards that I will soon be sending out. I think I'll let everyone know about the blog...that will get me to write more often.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


We thought about leaving our doggie behind, but then one day Mike started talking to her in Spanish and we knew she had to come with us. So we bought a truck with an extended cab for her seat and with A/C so we won't all melt.

She's 9 years old and she's been with us for 6 years. She is a purebred German shepherd and she LOVES her new truck!