There's a Podcast for That - 2 of 2

Ornament in snow 12172016If you're anywhere in the northeastern United States today, you've either raced to the grocery store to stock up before tomorrow's storm, or seen news coverage of people doing so.  Maybe you were one of the people in the extra long lines at the gas station, or one of the kids desperately trying to get on that website that predicts the likelihood of snow days.  What I want to know is whether or not you've downloaded enough podcasts to keep you entertained in case the power goes out, or to keep you moving while doing all that shoveling.  

In case you have any doubt, here's the second half of my There's a Podcast for That list.  

Social Studies (for lack of a more vague title)

  • How to be a Girl - Procast from NPR. A mother of a transgender child (in elementary school) talks openly about the struggles and joys of their life.
  • The Longest Shortest Time - Procast.  If you have children or spend time around children, you'll probably find something of interest here.  
  • Ear Hustle - Procast from Public Radio Exchange.  You'd think a podcast made in prison by prisoners would be bleak, but Ear Hustle is anything but.  You get to know some of the inmates as people, not the crimes they committed.  It's fascinating and really entertaining.
  • Death, Sex & Money - Procast.  Thoughtful stories about taboo subjects we all have to face sometime.  The host is terrific at asking the tough questions without a trace of sensationalism.  Not surprisingly, this show comes from the talented people at WNYC.
  • The Guilty Feminist - Take a female, feminist, stand-up comedian, put her in front of an audience with guests and see what painfully funny truths are revealed.
  • Only Human - Procast. This podcast from WNYC is billed as a health podcast, but not in the way you'd expect.  There are no stories about the best cardio workout or what superfood to eat this month.  Instead there are stories about climate change denial, the history of Vicks, and what you pass when you shake hands.  It's about being human.  
  • Rough Translation - Procast from NPR.  The journalists look at how issues that are in the news here in the US, are also making news elsewhere in the world.  For example, what does fake news mean if you live in the Ukraine?  

Science and Technology

  • Radiolab -  Procast from WNYC.  I used to time letting my students out of class to ensure I could be in my car at 9 when this radio show began.  That was of course before I knew about podcasts.  This is a show for people who are interested in science but aren't necessarily scientists.  The co-hosts clearly enjoy each other and they ask the questions that everyday schmoes like me would want to know.  One of the hosts was awarded a MacArthur Grant (aka "genius grant") for the way he innovates with sound.  You've got to experience it to understand.
  • Reply All - Procast from Gimlet Media.  Officially the show is about all things related to the internet: memes, twitter wars, hacking etc.  In short, it does not sound like something I'd have any interest in, but the guys who host it are clearly old friends.  The way the pick on each other cracks me up, and when they bring on their boss to explain a tweet to him, it's so much fun.  
  • Note to Self: Procast from WNYC.  This is a show all about what happens when humans interact with technology.  Even though it's a show by radio professionals, the host is willing to share her insecurities and bad habits.  There's been an emphasis on data safety recently which I haven't found as engaging, but go check out some of the older episodes.  
  • Invisibilia: Procast from NPR.  Each episode takes a look at something unseen that affects our lives.  This is science based, so there are no ghosts or paranormal stories, which is fine with me.  Reality is full of strange and wonderful things.

History

  • Black Sheep - Procast from Radio New Zealand.  I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled on this show, but I love it.  I probably hoped it had to do with knitting; it doesn't.  The host devotes each episode to "the shady, controversial and sometimes downright villainous characters of New Zealand history."  Given how little New Zealand history  is taught in the USA, every person, every incident is completely new to me.  It's fascinating.
  • Uncivil - Procast from Gimlet Media.  In response to the division and unrest in our nation today, Gimlet created a show to look at untold stories of the Civil War.  It's fascinating.

Everything

  • Every Little Thing - Procast from Gimlet Media.  A couple years ago Gimlet introduced a show called Surprisingly Awesome.  In it one host would try to convince the other that something seemingly boring ("concrete" for example) was actually incredible.  I thought it was a great idea but the show went through some growing pains as they played with the format and the hosting.  Eventually they found a version of that original premise that worked, complete with a new host and a new name for the show.  Don't miss the episode on flamingos.
  • The New Yorker Radio Hour - Procast from WNYC.  The editor of The New Yorker hosts.  The content is so varied that I'm having a hard time describing it.  What I can say is that while I've never enjoyed reading The New Yorker, I really enjoy the podcast.
  • Fresh Air with Terry Gross -  Procast from WHYY.  A classic interview show.  Being able to listen to the podcast means never missing the beginning of an interview or sitting in the car in the parking lot to catch the end of one again.
  • This American Life - Procast from WBEZ.  This was the second podcast I discovered.  It has been the soundtrack of countless roadtrips.  It is a classic.  One day I'm sure it will be an episode in Studio 360's American Icon series.

 


There's a Podcast for That - 1 of 2

Foggy horse

Over and over this December, as friends and family came together, the topic of podcasts kept coming up.  Favorite shows were shared, their titles jotted down, friends talked over one another in their excitement at loving the same show, and more than one tutorial in what they are, how to get them and how to listen to them was given.  If you're new to podcasts, they're audio programs available for free from the internet.  Some are simply radio programs made available for you to listen to when you want to.  Many are made by professionals, such as public radio stations or their former employees (think Gimlet), to be podcasts.  These are sometimes called "procasts" because they are made by pros. 

Then there are the shows made in home studios by people who have a passion to share.  These can be harder to find in the post Serial (incredibly addictive procast that introduced podcasts to a new audience) world.  iTunes algorithms emphasize shows with the most downloads, and procasts have greater name recognition so they get downloaded more, but podcasts by the people for the people are out there and some are absolutely wonderful.  One of the exciting things about podcasts made by individuals is that the listeners can become a community, sometimes calling in to leave voice messages that become part of the show.

I've been listening to podcasts for a long time, at least 10 years.  I discovered my first, in of all places, a knitting magazine.  Cast On was a knitting magazine for your ears, complete with the equivalent of letters from the editor, essays, interviews and show and tell.  Though Brenda has moved on to other ventures, you can still find Cast On online.  In fact I think I'm going to relisten to them from the beginning to celebrate the start of a new year.  

If you'd like a new year's resolution that will be a joy to keep, how about resolving to discover the world of podcasts?  Or if you already listen, resolve to try some new ones.  You can listen to them in the car; we listen to them on road trips. I listen to them while I walk.  They help me walk farther without getting board, and unlike music which I'm likely to turn up louder than I should, with podcasts I can still hear approaching cars, bird songs etc.  Podcasts are great company for boring chores (raking, folding laundry, doing dishes, cleaning rabbit pens).  Depending on the content, they are great for falling asleep to.  They give your mind something pleasant to focus on (no obsessing over to do lists), without the blue light that TVs and computers emit which keep us awake.  Many podcast players have timers so they shut off after a certain amount of time.  My iPod (a tiny square barely larger than a postage stamp) has replaced my childhood stuffed animals as my must have for falling asleep. 

Here are some of my favorite podcast.  I hope you'll share yours in the comments section.  

Crafty and Creative

  • Cast On - (see above) 
  • CraftLit - Crafty chat followed by chapters from a classic book, with the benefit of all the insight, context and vocabulary help that a great English teacher brings to the discussion.  Anne of Green Gables will be starting later in January.  I can't wait to see what Heather's research adds to this book I think I know inside and out.
  • CraftSanity- A newspaper reporter started interviewing local artists as a way to bring her two loves together.  Since then she's started a magazine and other endeavors to encourage everyone to tap into their creative side.
  • Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert - Yes that, Elizabeth Gilbert.  After writing about creativity in Big Magic, she started this podcast where she talks with someone who is feeling stuck in a creative endeavor.  She gives them advice and then discussed their situation with a professional in their field (or a related one) and gets their advice.

Language, Literature and the Like

  • CraftLit (see above)
  • The Allusionist - A funny and informative podcast about language.  It's a gem.
  • The World In Words - Procast from Public Radio International.  It's produced right here in Boston.  It focuses on the intersection between language and culture.
  • A Way with Words - Procast.  A call in show where people ask linguists their questions about language.  Episodes are short and light.
  • Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson - Procast from Public Radio International (formally from WNYC).  Kurt interviews people from across pop-culture and the arts.  I highly recommend the Icon episodes in which he delves deep into a work, think The Great Gatsby or Uncle Tom's Cabin. 
  • Levar Burton Reads - If you grew up on Reading Rainbow, you have to listen to Levar read short stories for adults.
  • Audio Dime Museum: Carnivale - This comes from a group called Just a Story.  It's an experiment in telling a serialized story as if you are in it.  You have to try it to see what I mean.
  • 99% Invisible with Roman Mars - Each episode focuses on one story related to design.  That could mean anything from flags to creating the friendliest airport in the world.  The stories are all about how design affects our lives, usually without us noticing.  If Roman ever gets tired of this gig, he could easily make a living in voice over work.

Happiness and Better Living

  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Procast. Gretchen has written award winning books that make happiness and habit research accessible to non-science folks.  She is full of tips on knowing yourself better and applying the research to your own life.  She and her cohost sister Elizabeth Craft are wonderfully honest and funny as they discuss the ideas and their own attempts at implementing them.  A great podcast for anyone in the "new year, new me" mindset.
  • Happier in Hollywood - Procast. A spinoff of the Happier podcast, this show is hosted by Elizabeth Craft and her writing partner Sarah Fain.  They've been friends since high school and are now screenwriters in Hollywood.  Their show is full of tips for improving your work life, told through the lens of working in Hollywood.  I listen to this and Happier a lot while crafting.  
  • By the Book - Procast. Two friends pick a self-help book and live by its rules completely for two weeks, then report back.  Their husbands get sucked into the experiments too.  If you've ever read a self-help book you'll love this.  They are painfully honest about their experience.  
  • 10% Happier - Procast. You'll probably recognize the host Dan Harris from Good Morning America.  After suffering a panic attack on national television, he set about changing his life.  Along with facing addiction issues, he took up meditation.  In this podcast he interviews people from all walks of life who meditate.  It's informative, honest and often funny.
  • The Hilarious World of Depression - Procast from American Public Media.  It started with the host (who suffers from depression) interviewing comedians who also live with the disease.  The interviews have branched out a bit to include folks like author John Green of The Fault in our Stars fame.   The show is entertaining, informative and poignant, showing through real life stories that there's no more reason for mental illness to be stigmatized than there is for asthma.  
  • On Being with Krista Tippet -  Procast.  The award winning, beloved radio show is made available for you to listen to whenever you want to.  Krista interviews scientists, theologians, artists and activists about the meaning of life and other big questions.
  • The RobCast - Rob Bell is a little hard to describe.  He went to seminary but found the constraints of any particular religion too restricting.  He explores life, the Bible and God from a Christian perspective while being open to what other faiths and traditions have to teach us.  His energy and excitement is contagious.  I learned about him through Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast.

 

 


New Neighbor

Someone has moved into the house behind ours.  It wouldn't be worth noting except that the house went up years ago and I've never seen anyone go in or out of it. 

I remember my dad commenting on its charm the last time he visited.  I was showing him the raised garden beds we'd built, and he walked over to the edge of the yard to get a better look at the house out back.  That was the last time I saw him before he died, not that we had any inkling at the time that it would be.  

It's like Alex (my partner) says, when you're a kid you get picked up all the time.  If you fall asleep in the car, you're carried up to bed.  You get lifted onto your mother's hip, carried on your brother's back or hoisted on your father's shoulders for a better view.   Then one day you're put back down, and you're never picked up again.   There's no announcement.  No right of passage.  It's just over.  That's what my parents' visit in  2015 was like.  I'm sure if it hadn't been the last I wouldn't remember something so insignificant as my dad liking the house out back, but I remember feeling pleased that we had that in common.  After all, it's not a typical house.  It's a bit of an oddity actually, surprisingly tall and thin with asymmetrical elements, but charming in its cooky way.  

That house stood empty for so long that I'd  begun to wonder if there was something wrong with the interior that made it uninhabitable.  I tried to get a look inside, but to really see I would have had to get right up close, and empty or not, that didn't seem like a good idea.  After all, what if I was wrong about no one living there?   Just imagine getting up close, looking in and being face to face with the homeowner!  No thank you.  

Then, early this year I noticed there was something different about the door.  A couple days later it was clear that renovations were taking place; the original door was being replaced with a much, much wider one.   I was partial to the old one; it fit the place.  The new one is out of proportion with the rest of the building, but what did my opinion matter, I reminded myself.  I wasn't the one living there.  Did I mention that the new door is off center?

When it snowed I saw a path had been made, but there was still no sign of my new neighbor.  Of course in the suburbs it is easy to go weeks, even months without seeing the neighbors.    

And then this morning we met.  

Squirrel headon

I have a hard time pronouncing his name, but he says I can call him Red; most people do.  He says he did all the renovations himself and gave me permission to post a picture.  

Revised birdhouse 05122017


So soon?

No matter what sort of winter we’ve had, I always find the first warm days a bit of a shock.  Winter is endless, formidable, a bully that stays longer than the three months it's allotted.  It’s supposed to be a  long candle lit and cocoa fueled rest, interrupted by nature’s workout regimen of shoveling and roof raking.  Every year I want it to last a bit longer. Just a bit more time to get indoor projects done without such a pull to be outside; that would be would be wonderful. Like a farmer, all year long I set aside inside tasks that I’ll take on when the garden is hidden by snow and the walkways are coated in ice. When the only reasonable course of action is to stay inside, I’ll be sure to get through the hundreds of photos  waiting to be edited, sorted and labelled. When daylight fails at 4:15, surely then I’ll finish the knit vest I started last winter.  And oh the quilting!  Winter was made for hand quilting.    

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If only the darkness of winter didn’t make me want to curl up and sleep.  If I could slip ahead through time to spring and siphon a bit of that energy to take back to the darkest days, oh what I might do! The To Do list of projects would...

well...

if I’m honest, the list would probably still be just as long since as soon as I knock off one thing I come up with another.  But there would be fresh faces on that list, and new characters to get to know, instead of the glares of long ignored residents.  

Potato print bunnies

So as much as I enjoy getting to skip a hat, reacquainting my feet with sneakers and an extra hour of sunlight, it all feels like a guest who has arrived early for the party.  I’m happy to see her, just not yet.  


Diptych Project - Week 2

Kristina and I don't consult with each other as we do these diptychs.  We each do our parts independently, then I send my part to her to format (she knows mountains more than I do about such things).   This is why I found the similarity between our photos in week 2 so interesting.  In week 1 we were both all about the snow, winter wonderland, frosted beauty.  Something clicked (or maybe broke) in each of us the next week, and we were both seeking life and color.

Diptych_week2A

If you'd like to see this larger, just click on it.

Diptych_week2B

I like how Kristina's haiku paints an image that is so clear, it could be a photograph.  When I'm writing mine I know what image(s) or feeling(s) I'm trying to convey.  I just have no idea if I'm giving enough clues for someone else to see/feel it too.  Haiku writing feels like shorthand to me, but shorthand is useless if the audience can't read it.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

 


What your Shoveling Says about You

My mother's people left Sweden, and settled in an equally wild, coffee adoring, snow filled region -  the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (a.k.a. the U.P.).  

Negaunee porch snow

If you've never visited the U.P., imagine northern Maine with its dense forests, frigid lakes, and tiny towns.  In my mother's stories it was the sort of place where everyone in town went to the Lutheran church on Sunday, and if you got in a scuffle on the playground, your mother and grandmother knew about it before you even got home.

Bethany Negaunee 2

It was there my mother and uncle learned to always make their walkway two shovel-widths wide.  Anything less was sloth (and reflected badly on the family).  I imagine my grandmother was sensitive to such things as a divorced mother of two in mid-century America.  

Adella in the Snow

Fast forward 30 years, and my mother is all grown up with two children of her own.  New England may not have lake effect snow, but it has plenty.  My mother, brother and I would shovel a path to the backdoor (in case of fire), to the oil tank (so it could be filled), to the shed (I don't know why since it was full of summer stuff) and to the front door (for obvious reasons).  That front door path always needed to be two-shovel widths wide.  When I'd complain that our actual walkway (a path worn in the grass by our feet) wasn't even that wide, my mother would say there was no way she was going to have people think she was raising us to be lazy.

Fast forward to 2015, I'm "all grown up" and sharing a house with my partner Z.  We've had a fair bit of snow this year (over 100 inches) and I bet you can guess how wide my front walkway is.

Alex shoveling 01272015

Single wide every time!  Sorry Mom. 


The Diptych Project

It's Lent again.  I say the word and I instantly think of the smell of fish sticks in the cafeteria on Fridays and the Catholic girls at school proudly abstaining from chocolate.  At my house, in my church, we didn't do Lent.  It was just a blank space between Ash Wednesday and the drama of Holy Week. 

So it's been something of a culture shock to become part of a church that sees Lent as a chance to dig in and grapple with what it means to be in a relationship with God. 

That last line is the perfect example.  Where I came from people don't say that sort of thing.  It feels presumptuous and a bit dangerous to talk like that.  I half expected the computer to short out when I wrote it.  And that's what Lent has become for me, a time to be vulnerable, to stretch my faith a little beyond what's comfortable.  In recent years I've tried new forms of prayer, colored mandalas, attended chant groups, meditated, read, read some more and yes given up indulgences like TV and Mt. Dew. 

This year my friend Kristina (check out her blog)invited me to join her in a creative project.  The idea is to build on our church's theme for Lent, Listening to God.  That makes me more than a little uncomfortable, so I've rebranded it as making time to appreciate what's around me.  Ignatius of Loyola (there's evidence of that Lenten reading) said to find God in everything, so I think I'm on solid theological ground.  

We couldn't decide if we wanted to take a photo each week, or write something short, so we decided to do both.  We each take a photo and write a haiku (at least one) each week during Lent.  These are then made into diptychs, her photo with my haiku and vice versa.   

I haven't written a haiku since 6th grade English.  I've never collaborated with anyone on a creative project like this.  Will the results feel jumbled and confused, or will the mishmash make us see our own creations in a new light?  I don't know, but that uncertainty has me really excited to give it a try.  To quote Anna from Frozen "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy/ but I'm somewhere in that zone." 

Without any further ado, here are week 1's diptychs:

Diptych_week1A

Diptych_week1B
*click on the images to make the diptychs larger


Success Tastes Sweet

I have a calendar, one of those cheap ones that insurance agencies send out around Thanksgiving, that I started using way back in January 2014 to help me build healthier habits.  I'm a list maker.  I love that shot of excitement that comes from crossing an item off a list, even if that feeling is all too brief.  This calendar works like a list in reverse.  Any time I do one of the habits I'm trying to build, I get to write it into that day's square. 

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A year ago, the goals were to exercise, write and craft more. Not too different from a million other people's new year's resolutions.  I color coded these goals to make it easy to see patterns on the calendar: exercise is underlined in yellow, writing in green and crafting in purple.  The colors made it easy to see what I was doing a lot and what I wasn't.  They all look strong for about two, maybe two and a half weeks, then more and more blank squares appear on the scene.  It's the classic resolution fade out.

Mid February I made an effort to get back on track.  A quick look tells me I did a good job of meeting my goals on the weekends.  Midweek.  Let's not talk about midweek. The exception being shoveling, which I appear to have done quite a bit of midweek and weekend all month long.  Thank you mother nature for helping me get more exercise.

And so it goes.  By March I'd given up on the color coding.  I jotted down any time I exercised, wrote or fiddled.  Yes, I'd swapped fiddle practice for crafting.  Like writing and exercise, I enjoyed it once I got started but what is it about getting started that's so tough?  

My calendar pages May through September are seas of white, with only the word "fiddle" to break the monotony. I'm sure I was doing other things, but they weren't making it to the calendar.  Maybe I didn't want to see their (in)frequency.IMG_0227

Then the fall came in all its beauty and the night crept ever farther into the day.  I started tracking how long I sat in front of my fake-sunlight lamp; "it's medecine" my doctor had reminded me,  "take the recommended dose, no more, no less".    Exercise shifted in my mind from "good for me" to "weapon against depression", so it went back on the calendar.  I started taking pre-work walks again, since outdoor exercise as early as possible has been shown to help as well. 

I'd like to say that I knew all these things were good for me, so I did them day in and day out.  But you know that's not true.  I'd do it a while, then stop.  I'd see the white space on the calendar and start up again; "Just keep starting" is a twelve step maxim that I firmly believe in.  And then in November, I read a blog post by my friend Kristina.  She had undergone serious surgery and was making big life changes as part of her recovery process.  In the post she talked about giving herself a sticker whenever she reached a daily goal.  I smiled and thought "I don't need to go that far".  But when I saw a pack of multicolored sparkling star stickers at the store, they were in my basket in an instant. Who didn't love getting a star on their homework back in school?

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How do I earn a star?  Gold - sat in front of my light 1st thing in the morning.  Green - exercise.  Orange - fed the soul (fiddle, crafting, baking, extended reading).  And blue - drank water and ate fruit with my breakfast.  This last one, the blue star is the reason for this post.  I know most people love fruit, but I see eating fruit a lot like I see shaving.  I do it because I don't like what will happen if I don't. 

Apples 10122014

Yes, fruit can be delicious (have you ever read William Carlos Williams' poems about eating plums?),  but it is so fickle and unpleasant too.  Fruit are sticky, they have really strong smells and you never know what you're going to get when you take a bite.  One day you're rewarded with sweet, jucy pleasure.  Another day and the fruit's gone sour or worse yet, squishes with the first stages of rot.  Add in the fact that sometimes my body goes on allergen overload and gives me an allergic reaction to fruit I'm not allergic to.  Fruit and I aren't friends. 

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But I've been doing it.  Pears.  Grapes.  Bananas.  When I have trouble sticking to it, I grab a beloved, reliable veggie instead.  I don't think it's a coincidence that brocolli and breakfast both start with "b". 

So what's this success I  mentioned in the title?  Have I lost 10 pounds?   Am I a fiddle master? Did I finish my holiday knitting on time?  No,  no, and no.  But yesterday when I went to the kitchen hungry for a mid morning snack - I grabbed a pear.  Just as natural as can be.  No reaching for a muffin and telling myself I ought to eat fruit instead.  No staring at the choices in the fridge and making a deal with myself that if I ate the fruit I could have something good afterward.  Nope.  I just saw the pear and grabbed it. 

I think that's the first time in 40 years that I've chosen to eat fruit as a snack. 

Now that's some sweet success.

 


What I Learned from Moving

It's been quiet on this site for a while; the sort of gaping silence that TV shows highlight with chirping crickets.  It started with the usual end of semester rush of work, then there was a two month purge of unwanted belongings, followed by a remarkably smooth move into our very first house!  After a few years of looking each time it came close to the end of our lease, we finally found the right house at a price we could afford. 

And now that almost two months have passed I feel like I can take a deep breath and share a bit of what I learned from the experience.

  • Buying a house is ranked right up there with divorce and the death of a loved one in terms of the stress it causes.  I didn't make that up; a therapist friend told me.
  • Put a piece of painters tape on any cord that could possibly get separated from its machine, and write what it goes to.
  • If you're trying to get rid of items in a hurry, skip Craigslist and go straight to Freecycle (everything is free so people jump on it), or call a charity like the Epilepsy Foundation to have them pick the items up at your house.  Either way the items are kept out of landfills and making someone happy.
  • Getting boxes is so much easier today than it was 10 years ago.  No more doing the rounds of toy and liquor stores.  Boxes are almost always available on Craigslist, and Freecycle.com.  In addition if you buy boxes from U-Haul, they'll take back any that you don't use.  The boxes at Lowes are cheaper though I don't know if they have the same return policy.  We got incredibly lucky in that some friends offered us the boxes from their move, which we used, then passed on to other friends who were moving a few weeks after us.  Sometimes the universe just comes together.   Alex new kitchen 05312014
  • Keep the labeling on your boxes simple.  Write the room and then a couple key words to maintain your sanity when it comes time to unpack.  Our movers said that people do all sorts of number and color coding systems, but nothing helps them unload faster than just having the room name on the box.
  • The amount of time it takes to pack seems to increase as you get closer to the end.  A wise friend told me "At some point in packing you're going to get to the 'ah f**** it' stage and just not care any more."  She was right.

Misc boxes 05312014

  • The most useful tool while moving is a Swiss Army knife.  With that in your pocket you never have to look for a screwdriver while you're packing, or scissors to cut open boxes once you've arrived.  You may even want to take advantage of its bottle opener feature.
  • As soon as the boxes are off the truck, send someone to the store to get those few food essentials that help you feel all is right in the world.  In our house that means bread, peanut butter, milk, cereal, Diet Coke and Mountain Dew.  Wow, that does not paint a flattering picture of our eating habits. 
  • When moving to an unfamiliar town, it's worth calling the Town Hall to see if they have maps available. 
  • All empty houses do not sound the same.  The echo of a place you're moving into is cold and industrial.  It sounds like a solid block of ice, daring you to try to make this place a home.  But, the echo of a place you're leaving is music, something a little bitter sweet but with a rhythm that makes you want to dance.  Because when a place is finally empty enough to echo - the endless packing is over!
New hall 05312014
1st morning in the new house