Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Has It Really Been That Long?

Posted: 19 September, 2016 in Family, Moving

September 19, and my last entry was on August 31? Part of the delay is I got locked out of my WordPress account: it seems I had forgotten my password and exceeded the limit for trying to guess at it. I was finally able to reset it, but it took a few days before (1) I was able to use it to log in and (2) have the “You’ve Exceeded The Number of Login Attempts” fairies to reset themselves.

Anyway, all is good now. In fact, things are better than good! I’ve found a place of my own. I knew that staying with Stacey was only temporary, and Craig’s List came through for me again. It’s only a room in a house, with two roommates, but I’ll have privacy when I need it, and peace and quiet when I want to write, with no dog to distract me.

But don’t misunderstand: I love Fyona and think she’s the best dog in the world, but when I’m trying to write and she comes to me wagging her tail, I can’t resist. I’ll spend 10 minutes petting her and playing with her, and lose my train of thought.

My new landlord said he’s open to me moving in sooner than the October 1st date he put in the ad; I’m thinking of this Saturday as the day.

Stacey and I will both breathe easier when I’m gone, and we’re not constantly tripping over each other. It’s been great seeing each other, but she spends her day in her room, and I spend mine on my laptop on the kitchen table, both of us in self-imposed isolation.

So that’s where things stand with me right now, and they continue to look brighter.

Gloom, Despair, And Agony On Me

Posted: 27 August, 2016 in Depression, Moving

That was a song once featured on the old television show, Hee Haw. I rarely watched it, but sometimes while I was channel-surfing a bit would catch my eye. That was one that did.

Why the gloom and despair? Well, I recently moved from Rochester, NY to Seattle, WA. One of the nuisances we don’t consider when we move is having to learn the peculiarities of a new stove. My old stove was a gas range. Will my new one be gas, or electric? And if it’s electric (which I must admit is a more efficient way to cook), how long will it take me to learn its idiosyncrasies?

But I’m not going to worry about that right now. Right now my main goal is finding a place to live. While living in Rochester, I had forgotten that Washington State law allows a landlord to collect an amount 3 times the monthly rent before letting you move in: first and last month’s rent, plus a damage deposit equal to the monthly rent. On top of that, most landlords also demand a $40 application fee to cover the cost of running a background check on potential tenants.

Had I remembered that, I’d have stayed in Rochester until I had saved up enough money to cover those costs.

I’m in a hostel until the 2d of September. After that, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Go back to Rochester with my tail tucked between my legs and try to find a place to live there? After all, it doesn’t cost nearly as much to rent a place there, much less move into it.

In the meantime, I’m checking my alternatives.

I hope in the coming days I’ll have better news to post.

Especially when you do it by train. I simply had far too much stuff to go by air, my truck wasn’t going to last but another hundred or so miles, and the train seemed like a reasonable alternative.

Which it was, by the way. I’m not knocking Amtrak, but there were a few things I wish I had known before setting out on my journey.


The first thing you need to know is that while drinking water is available on the train, it is room-temperature, and is not available in all cars. In my case, getting water meant walking back to the car behind mine. And unfortunately, since I didn’t think to bring a drinking utensil, I had to settle for one of the 2-ounce paper cups the railroad provides.

My one-way fare was under $300; that was for a coach-class seat and it included my luggage. I could have opted for a sleeper berth, but that would have added about $1,000 to my ticket. Of course, it did include all meals, but for that price, I could have flown first class to Seattle and shipped my bags.

Which Brings Us To Meals

The first rule of eating on the train is this: There are no cheap meals on Amtrak. I splurged on dinner Tuesday evening: a steak, baked potato, and vegetable, with a semi-stale dinner roll, accompanied by a bottle of beer and followed by a small dish of ice cream set me back $30. And it was a small steak. That was in the dining/lounge car.

I saw someone who had bought a chicken dinner in the café car: A roll, a small dessert, one leg and one breast set him back $12.50.

The lesson I learned: Bring your own food and beverages. a 12-ounce can of Coke cost $2.25…and it wasn’t even cold. Even a cup of mediocre coffee cost $2.00.

NOTE: you cannot consume your own alcoholic beverages on the train. They MUST be purchased in either the café or the dining car.

I practically lived on trail mix for the rest of the trip.

Still, a girl could do worse, I suppose.


Don’t make the mistake of traveling by train if you want to “see the country.” Unless your goal is to see the underbelly of cities and endless reaches of flat, empty farmland, there really isn’t anything to see. Oh, sure—there were the sunflower fields in North Dakota, but even they pale after a while. And who knew there were so many oil wells in that state?

It was too dark to take decent pictures in Glacier National Park, and all through the Cascades, we traveled through narrow cuts that were made just to fit the train. Besides, the windows were either too dirty or too reflective to get any decent shots.

I did, however, see lots of cattle and horses. Also a few deer and antelope, but I couldn’t tell if they were playing or not,

The Bottom Line

Yes, I’d do it again. But I’d be better prepared. And now that I know there is a one-hour layover in Minot, North Dakota, I will definitely walk to a grocery store and replenish my supplies of food and water. It would have been nice of them to tell us we had that much time. In fact, if it weren’t that it was 8 in the morning, I could have sent out for a pizza!