Dreamer’s World May 17, 2018 – Returning To “Normal”

    Today marks the start of a return to normalcy around here. Things are going well with the new apartment, and I am finally getting finances back in order after the expenses of the move. It has happened quicker than I thought it would, and I am extremely happy about this. Now, I can begin to build my savings back up again and take care of the expenses incurred during the move to wipe them out as quickly as possible.
    Actually, return to “normal” is not quite true. Hal and I are establishing a new “normal” routine here at the new apartment. Because we are closer to most of the places we like to go and don’t have to cross major highways to get to them, we have begun going to the movies for the first time in years. We can safely walk to the movie theater in less than 15 minutes through a nice neighborhood without tons of speeding traffic.
    In fact, tonight we are going to s sneak preview of “Deadpool 2” at the local theater. I will drive only if the weather is unpleasant. If the urge strikes us, there are two awesome restaurants along the way where we can have drinks and dinner afterward.
    It feels terrific to be no longer isolated from everything. The old apartment was on the other side of a major highway, and going anywhere other than by car meant taking our lives in our hands as we crossed that highway, even at the designated crosswalks. Several near misses by distracted/stupid drivers effectively stopped us from going places.
    Now, we have the grocery store, library, theater, chiropractor, dentist, and multiple restaurants we can safely walk to. The change is palpable. Even though we are roughly the same distance from many of these places, it no longer feels like we live on another planet.
    I can feel the difference in my daily life as well. I am sleeping better here in the new place, things seem more relaxed and comfortable as well. Because we moved out to this area last year, we have not had many visits from our friends because they don’t want to travel this far. That is fine with me because it means that we no longer have to make arrangements for them to come over. Actually, I think the real reason we no longer see them is that they want to stay closer to DC so they can get to all of the places there. Traveling out here would effectively kill their plans on the weekend. I see this decision as a reflection of their priorities and also an indication of where we fit into their list of priorities.
    As for us, we are happier than ever. This is really saying something after being together for over 18 years. It is a testament to our commitment to each other and our resolve to be happy with ourselves first. I like this new “normal.”

Dreamer’s World May 08, 2018 – Thinking About Dinner

Since everything is calming down here after the initial adjustment from the move, it is time to think about getting into the kitchen and preparing dinner for Hal and myself. I have 4 pork chops that have thawed out, and I will marinate them this evening. I will cook them tomorrow, and that will provide us with meals for a few days since these are large and thick pork chops.
After work, I made sure that I had the ingredients for the marinade I prefer to use, as well as the necessary spices. Also, I made sure that we have the side items for the meals. This will be the first real cooking adventure in the new apartment. I have used the Instant Pot a few times, but not the oven in the kitchen. There are always a few quirks that have to be accounted for, but I am confident that things will turn out delicious after I finish cooking the pork chops tomorrow evening.
    I am tempted to get some applesauce from the grocery store, as well as some fresh asparagus. I don’t want to go overboard, but I also want this meal to be special for Hal and myself. We already have potatoes, and green beans and baked beans. I know that I will have to get an onion or two to spice things up.
    I will be glad to cook in the new kitchen at last. As great as the Instant Pot is, it cannot replace something that is prepared the old fashioned way in the oven.
After a short time away from the computer, I realized that tomorrow is the night that we are going to see the new Avengers movie. This shouldn’t affect the overall plan to cook, it will just push things a bit later in the evening. We are going to the early evening session so we won’t be out late. I expect we will be home by 2030 tomorrow evening. Probably too late to eat after cooking, so it will be a decision at that time whether or not to put things off until Thursday.

Dreamer’s World April 26, 2018 – The Morning Light

      One of the things that I like the most about the new apartment is the light that comes in early in the morning. This is the first place that we have lived for many years that faces towards the north and east, which gives us more light in the morning. Because we are in a corner unit, we do have two sides of windows in the living room that really capture all available light during the day.


    This wonderful way to wake up has really made me appreciate the new place even more than before. For the first week, everything was still too hectic to sit back and gaze in wonder at this place. This morning, I watched four ducks paddle across the serene lake outside the balcony and marveled at the sense of calm that came over me. There was nothing like this in the old apartment, we looked out over the parking lot, and the daylight was behind the building. This meant that all we saw was blinding light in the afternoon and cars going back and forth in the parking lot all day and night. This is much better.
    It is amazing how such simple things can affect one’s outlook on life. This move was stressful, but it will be worth it for us in the long term. We both are looking forward to being here for many years.

Dreamer’s World April 24, 2018 – Home

    “Home” is such an important word. It evokes an emotional response in all of us. For most, “home” means safety and comfort and protection from the outside world, for others, it might have negative connotations, and that is a shame. Regardless. “home” is a concept. It is an idea that means something primal to all of us.
    Moving is always a hard chore. It took us a week to get things ready, and then to make a move and begin to prepare the new place so that it feels like “home” for us. All of the material possessions are nice, but the real move is complete when we realize that we are now “home” in the new place. The sense of peace and calm that begins to flow is something that words cannot describe, but it is a tangible feeling. There is no set point in the moving process where the feeling will appear, but we are always happy when it does.
    For us, one of the most enjoyable things was how quickly The Stooges adjusted to the new apartment. This was not without incident, however, thanks to Stevie Nicks. As we were busy going in and out on Thursday, carrying newly collapsed boxes away to the dumpster, Stevie Nicks managed to get out the door without us realizing it. It wasn’t until some time later that we realized she was missing.
    At first, there was the frantic search through the apartment and all of the remaining boxes to see if she had hidden for a nap. When I went through the apartment shaking a box of cat treats, and she didn’t appear, I knew that something had happened. Hal (person) then repeated the process, and he realized the same thing. We tried not to panic, but we were worried. Hal and I decided to go outside and search around the building to see if we could find Stevie Nicks before it got dark.
    Luckily, Hal found her. She had gone down a flight of stairs and then panicked. Apparently, she heard someone and leaped onto a ledge that also had a sloping roof to protect people coming into the building from the elements. Stevie Nicks was on the ledge looking for help. Hal went out onto the roof ledge and brought her back to safety. It was at that moment, reunited with Stevie Nicks, that I believe the feeling of being “home” really started to sink in. We knew that we were still together, and that is one of the most important features that make a place a “home.”
    Another thing that caused me some inner stress was being so busy that I couldn’t find the time to write. There was so much going on, arranging the furniture, conducting a second purge of unwanted and unnecessary items, that I just couldn’t focus on writing. My guitar practice has also been interrupted, and I won’t be able to resume for a few more days. I need to get a small table that I can place my amps on to make things ready for practice that will give me more room to be comfortable. For now, the guitars remain in their cases, but I am looking forward to that changing.     I found the perfect table for the amps at IKEA. It is just a matter of getting down there to pick one up sometime this week.
    I am also in the process of trading in my two old iMacs for a used MacBook. I no longer feel the need to have another desktop around here, and if I can get a good MacBook trade, it will be worth the effort. This is another task that will hopefully be accomplished later this week.
    Tomorrow I make my trip in to see the client. I missed last week, but they already knew that I wasn’t going to be there. I will get caught up with them tomorrow morning, and then I can proceed with the rest of my week at work.
    If I feel like it after work, we will go to the grocery store, and I will also try to cook some chicken and noodles and veggies in the Instant Pot. This would mark the first real use of the kitchen since we moved in last week. I am looking forward to making dinners at home once again. More to follow as I get back to writing once again.