Monday, February 21, 2011

The honeymoon is over

Oh, hi! Our computer has had a virus. Andy just found time to fix it last night. Yay, fixed computer! Here's the real post:

So when we first moved, there was certainly an adjustment period.

Once we were settled and developed a routine, I was quickly charmed by our new home. It was good & we were as happy as we could be with such a whirlwind change. Robert and Allison visited and we were heartened by friends and the knowledge that once we formed a community we could really make a home here.

However, as time went on it became clear to us that this was not a place to build a new home. There is no community to be had. It isn't just us either, we've spoken to several others, of varying ages and circumstances, who can't find a niche here either. More and more we feel justified in our decision to move, again.

In all this though, I've been trying to enjoy the time we still have here. It is beautiful, after all, and the only thing to do is make the most of the situation.

Until yesterday.

The bunnies were completely out of pellets & Brunswick was begging like he'd never done before. He clearly thought he was going to starve to death, despite the hay and vegetables I kept shoving in his face.

My options were to go myself on the bus or wait on Andy to get off work and go to the store. Andy's shop has extended hours for the holiday weekend and he doesn't get home until nearly 8 o'clock after a 13+ hour day. It hardly seemed fair to ask him to make a stop, plus, like I said, Brunswick thought he was starving.

So, yesterday afternoon, I bundled up and headed out. There is a bus stop at the end of our street, so I didn't have to walk far, but the wind was so strong, and I was being pelted in the face with snow because of it. I had hardly gotten out of our complex parking lot before my instincts told me I should turn around and just give Brunswick some more carrots. I didn't though. Stubbornly, I trudged on because I'd made my mind up and I was going to go to the store.

I got to the intersection and all I had left to do before I reached the shelter of the bus stop was cross the street. It's a three way stop, there were two cars at two of the stop signs already and the other had a mini van approaching it. I was a pedestrian and everyone had to stop, so I proceeded to cross the intersection.

The road was icy and I was walking carefully. Suddenly, the approaching mini van, not yet stopped, honked it's horn at me. I looked the driver in the face and mouthed, "You have a stop sign!" She proceeded to roll through the stop sign, stop in the middle of the intersection, roll down her window and say, "I know! I'm sliding & I didn't want to hit you." The wind was still blowing and I was frozen so I just said ok and continued walking to the bus stop. However, I would have liked to point out the following things to her:

1) If she hadn't been going too fast in the first place, she could have stopped at the stop sign that I know she saw because it was a straight stretch of road and the stop sign has FLASHING RED LIGHTS ON IT. If you drive on ice like you do in normal conditions, of course you are going to slide. (That idea doesn't seem to have sunk in with a lot of people around here. Even the ones who have crashed multiple times.)

2) Clearly she wasn't sliding too bad since she managed to stop her van in the middle of the intersection to explain why she honked at me.

3) If she had hit me, even though she was so courteous as to honk at me, it still would have been her fault for driving like and ass on the ice.

Ahem, moving on. I stood in the bus shelter listening to the wind and waiting, thinking that any moment the shelter was going to fall apart and collapse on me. At least, that's what it sounded like. I'm not kidding when I say the wind was brutal.

The bus came, I got on, it was packed with skiers going home at the end of the day. I did manage to find a seat, so I took it and proceeded to thaw out, until we got to the bus station where I had to get out again and brave the arctic tundra.

The bus station is behind the strip mall where I needed to go. I started walking and for the most part there was fresh snow that had been blown onto the roads and parking lot, so it wasn't too slippery. Until I got to the back of the strip mall where it was a giant ice rink. Walking very cautiously I proceeded, but when I reached the corner of the building my feet flew out from under me and I fell, hard, onto my right hip. The impact jarred me hard enough for my head to bounce off my shoulder.

Right then and there, my love affair with winter ended. I don't mind the cold & I love the snow, but now? I'm over it. I'm over this town. OVER IT!

I stood up and continued on my journey, completing my shopping and my trip home without incident. The wind was the worst part. Also, five pounds of bunny pellets doesn't sound like a lot until you have to carry it across town. My arms feel like jello.

It doesn't really occur to you how much you use your right knee and hip until every move you make causes them to throb.

So, to summarize this post: OVER IT!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Potata

 Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

To start your weekend off on a good note

Something for your listening pleasure:

I'm currently obsessed with this song and listen to it about a million times daily.

Adele's new album comes out on February 22nd. I think I found my valentine's present (to myself since we don't celebrate V-day).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Suddenly it's Thursday

At the beginning of every week I intend to post something, but Mondays are one of Andy's days off, so I spend my time with him. Then I spend Tuesday and Wednesday doing... well I'm not sure what I do with the whole day, but clearly I don't make the time to update my blog. The next thing I know it's Thursday and the week is mostly over and I haven't written a thing. I have things to write about for sure. On top of my list is my review for Black Swan that I saw several weeks ago and an update on my healthy eating and weight loss.

I could also tell you about what it's like grocery shopping here. Seriously I could make an entire post out of it. I don't know if groceries are more expensive here because of our location and it takes more man power & fuel to get them here, or because this is a resort location and they charge more simply because they can. Either way groceries are freaking expensive. I'm talking one package of bacon being the same price as three packages back in NC. Yeah, we don't eat as much bacon these days. But this past week it's like the grocery stores got the memo that people actually live and work here and they need to have proper sales from time to time. We spent just under $50 and got enough groceries for at least 5 meals and then some. That bill included 5 lbs of chicken and 8 lbs of ground beef! It was like Christmas!

But I digress. Today I'm going to give a little update about how we're doing because people have been asking since my little emotional explosion last week.

I can tell you this now, because Andy has told the necessary people at work, but we aren't planning on staying here another year. By here, I mean in the Frisco area. We do still plan on being in Colorado, but in another part.

To clarify a bit, when Andy accepted this new job and we moved, we did so with the knowledge that his position would be seasonal and further employment would depend on his performance during this first ski season. I'm not telling you this because things haven't gone well, in fact Andy's store consistently out performs the other stores in the district. The fact that Andy's job is seasonal is important because it makes our decision to leave easier. He isn't committed to something full time/year round (yet) and so by pulling out early it allows his company to easier be able to choose who they want to keep on. We both feel that it would be unfair to lead them on, hence him telling them already that he's made a decision. Of course, Andy's company has stores all over the state (and even in some surrounding states), so there is the possibility that he will just apply for transfer. But at the moment, that is one of the many possibilities he's looking into.

So, what lead us to this decision? It's something we've both been thinking for a while, long before Andy's frustration with his coworkers. I think, in the end, that is the straw that broke it for him, but there are things outside of Andy's employment that have made us want to relocate.

Mostly (and this is the deciding factor for me) the culture here is all wrong for us. I don't mean the difference between the south and the west. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few people here who are originally from the south, and everywhere else in the country. I can count on one hand the number of people we have met that are actually from Colorado. Which isn't really a problem, it's just kind of odd. The biggest issue is the "party" or "vacation" lifestyle that people seem to lead here. People work, certainly, but it seems they only work to pay the bills. No one cares about getting ahead, saving for the future, buying a home, not that anyone could because the average cost for a 1000 sq/ft condo is about $250,000. Perpetual vacation is at the top of everyone's list, and while vacation is fun, at the end of it I'm ready to get back to life, calm and steady.

All this has made it very difficult for us to make any friends. Granted, it takes me longer to make friends anyway. I tend to be more cautious and reserved, only making room in my life for people I feel deserve my time and devotion. Andy makes friends more easily, and usually can make a buddy pretty fast. I think in general men are like this because their gender makes it easy to have several friends you don't need to devote a lot of attention to, but that is another post, for another day. The point is that Andy has been working for three and a half months, and has had a lot of interaction with people in his store and in the sister stores within the company. He has yet to find a single person he can relate to. That isn't like him, at all.

While the place we live in is surely beautiful, and has the quaint small town America feel we love, that isn't all we need. Everyone needs a community. Even the most desolate of places can seem welcoming and cozy if you have some friends to share it with.

And so, all these things together have lead us to the decision that we need to cut our loses and move on. It's been fun, but this is truly a vacation town. I would love to come back, but only for a visit.

Where are we going? There are a few places we have in mind, one in particular. Until we make a solid decision though, I'm going to keep that to myself. There are some loose ends to tie up. Andy needs to finish out his season. We have a year lease with Drew, so if we decide to move before next October something has to be done about that. Also, we're hoping to travel a little in the spring. Including a trip home. Right now we're both jonesing for the welcoming embrace of the south and our family.

So that's where we stand now. I'm not sorry we moved here. It's just one of life's experiences to tuck under our ever expanding belt. Live where you are and learn more about yourself and then move on to something else, hopefully better. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Please, please, let it be over soon

If there was any doubt that February was the most shittastic month, this week has erased it.

First, there was the heat issue. Tuesday afternoon the repair man came and got our heat running again. Which is great, except that it doesn't seem to be very effective. Here's the thing: on Tuesday the temperature never got out of the negatives. I think the high that day was -1. So cold that every time you stepped outside and took a breath your nose hairs instantly froze. On Wednesday morning, when Andy drove to work the temp was -32. You were at risk of frostbite after being outside a mere three minutes. Public schools were on a two hour delay because of the temperature, not snow or inclimate weather, it was just. that. cold.

All the while the new motor on our heater has been running non stop. I'm not kidding. It hasn't turned off since he hooked it up Tuesday afternoon. And it was just last night when the thermostat in our apartment barely reached 70. It's been hovering between 65 and 70 all week. We aren't sure if it's because the temperatures have been so cold, and the apartment was kind of cold to begin with and the new heater just hasn't been able to catch up. Or if it's because it's a less powerful motor & can't heat the apartment effectively. It's only a little over 700 square feet. We aren't asking for a miracle here, just a warm place to live.

So, yeah. We're tired of being cold. Seriously.

But that isn't the worst thing that's been happening this week.

Andy has been very stressed out at work, and not a normal level of stress. Everyone's job is stressful, even if they love it. I can't/won't go into a lot of detail because 1) it isn't my job and 2) the details aren't anyone's business, but suffice it to say people are being selfish and childish and need to put on their grown up underwear and realize that they are in the real world now & not everything works out perfectly all the time.

OK, that was me, venting. The thing is, Andy is running one of the largest stores in the area. That, alone, comes with a large amount of stress to get it right and to make all those customers happy. When you add childish and petty coworkers on top of that, you get a very stressed out manager & husband. Which, in turn, stresses me out. I hate that he is going through this right now. I especially hate that I can't do anything about it. My personality is much more confrontational than Andy's, and all this week I've been wanting to march myself down to his store and tell a select few people just what a bunch of petty assholes they're being and to build a freaking bridge already. It's probably a good thing that I don't have a car right now.

I'm sorry I have to be so vague. The mature thing to do is not tell the whole story, so that's what I'm doing even though I'd like to give specific details including full names and addresses, but I will refrain.

The tip of the iceberg though, was a text message that Andy sent me this morning. It said a great many things, but the statement that stood out to me was, "I'm can't stand how grumpy I am every day."

Now, let me tell you that Andy can put on some serious grump. He is no stranger to the bad mood, and he has certainly had jobs in the past that put him in a horrible mood for months at a time.

In college, he was a resident assistant (we both were) and his first year was spent in the worst building, on the most difficult floor. If there was a rule, his residents broke it. By the end of that year he was unbearable to be around. His entire person exuded  bad mood vibes and it was contagious.

A similar mood presented itself last year during ski season. He was carrying one of his coworkers, and had been doing so for well over a year. He was exhausted and angry that he was doing all this extra work while this other person was simply permitted to show up (sometimes) and still get paid. Again, he was unbearable to be around. Nothing was so welcome as the end of ski season 2010. Our household took a huge sigh of relief last spring.

The thing is, Andy has never been so disgusted with work that he was bothered by his own bad mood. He's never gotten tired of himself. So, something has to change. Although I don't think it's going to happen this ski season. At this point it would be unwise to make a staffing change because the season is more than half over.

I guess the best we can hope for is that the next two months pass quickly and with little incident.

Also, that this godforsaken week be over, post haste. I'm not even sure it would benefit from a do-over. It just needs to end, and hopefully next week will be better.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The most exciting thing that's happening

Hello, February! January is the month of new beginnings. March is the month of welcoming Spring. So what is February? It's the month of survival! It's cold and unwelcoming, and though it boasts Groundhog day, President's day and Valentine's day, February still seems to be the most lackluster month in the calendar year. Poor February.

I was on the phone with my mom last week and she commented on my lack of blogging. Mostly she wanted more pictures. I told her the truth: I haven't taken any pictures because I don't do anything. Andy is in the middle of his season and doesn't have a lot of time to spend with me. On his day's off he's tired and I feel bad asking him to go, go, go with me all over, so we mostly stay home. I'm used to this, but in NC I had a car and a working knowledge of the area I was in. It was easier for me to get out and about and do things on my own. Here though I'm car-less (for the time being) and it takes an eternity to go anywhere on the bus. Plus there are only so many places I'm familiar with and feel comfortable going alone. We've only been here three months, after all. I have a feeling in a couple more months there will be much more to tell. Ski season is always sort of a slow time for us.

Anyway, there is one thing that has happened. Our heat broke.

Last Monday I woke up and had to force myself out of bed because it seemed extra chilly in our room. That's not unusual. Our bedroom always runs a few degrees colder than the rest of the apartment. Except when I came into the common area it was cold too, and that is not normal. The heat usually works overtime and I'm hot in the living room. I looked at the thermostat and it said 65. Again, that's not normal. I turned the heat up and nothing happened. I knew something was wrong, but waited until Andy got home so he could investigate. (That was his day off & he'd gone out for the morning, but came home at lunch.) He did some poking and prodding and determined that the motor was broken.

We contacted the property manager & after a quick look to make sure he knew the problem he called the repair man and ordered the part. This was Monday, the part and repair man should arrive on Wednesday. In the mean time he gave us three space heaters (one that was broken), plus we had one of our own. They worked pretty well because the apartment isn't large. Also, we are surrounded by other units in a concrete building. We're pretty well insulated and when I started to think about it, I had actually been a little chilly for two or three days. It's likely the heat had been broken for a while, but it took some time to realize it because the apartment holds the warmth so well. Go figure.

Wednesday came and so did the repair man, late, of course. He took one look and told me he was pretty sure the motor wasn't the only problem. Not one to give up easily, he took everything apart before he made his final diagnosis. Indeed, the motor wasn't enough. More parts had to be "tracked down" and another appointment would need to be made with the repair man once the other parts arrived.

Now, all this was fine. We had the space heaters, the apartment holds heat well and the temperature had taken a sharp turn towards "warm" for several days. It was like a tropical heat wave here last week. If you consider 40 degrees warm, and we do after averaging in the high teens to low twenties for weeks. So, not big deal about the heat. Except yesterday the temperature dropped again. The high was in the teens, plus there was more snowfall, and today the high is forecasted to be just over 0.

I realize that no one is really to blame for our heat still being broken, but at this point I would really appreciate some haste in getting it fixed. Not to mention that it's cold enough now that the space heaters need to be constantly running which 1) makes me nervous and 2) causes the breaker to flip regularly, annoying.

Yesterday the property manager stopped in to say that the new parts and repair man should be here today. I hope he's right. In the meantime, I'm going to put on an extra pair of socks.