I know its been awhile. I finally have my computer back and if I push boxes out of the way I can even get to it now. I am sitting here drinking a much deserved margarita and I am wondering where do I begin. Its been a little over three weeks and yet it seems like its been three months. I know technically I am in paradise but it sure hasn’t felt like it. I think it will soon but we certainly had a rocky start.
|Ron packing up the last of our stuff just hours before leaving….Rainy sporting a neon pink bandage|
|Alaska, Jessie and Me trying not to cry|
|Me and my girls, Eileen and Jessie|
|This picture still makes me cry|
After some very painful goodbyes we got on the road……me driving the van with my mother and Rainy and Ron in the penske truck full of the remainder of our belongings. It took us 48 hours to get to the island after driving all night to Wilmington, CA. where we unloaded the truck after driving all night and loading up the container that would be placed on the barge. We didn’t have time to drop off the truck in order for us to catch the last boat going to Catalina that night. Needless to say we were exhausted. I had a room set up[ for mom and me but Ron was planning on taking Rainy to the house and camping out there. However we could not get to the house because it was locked up tight and we didn’t have the keys. Thankfully my mothers friend Sandy (whom she went to high school with) had a rental that was available for a couple of nights. That was all we needed because as we informed the contractors a month ago we were arriving on the date we did in fact arrive. They were told the house was to be finished and if they didn’t think they could get it done we would get them additional help to get it done because as we had someone moving into our house the end of June we had no choice.
|Absolutely exhausted….the boat to get to Catalina|
Well they apparently didn’t take us seriously. We also informed them IF for some insane reason they would not be done they would be responsible for our hotel bill and meals (can you tell we were a little OVER IT???). Well we found a hotel (thanks to my moms friend Sandy again) that was handicap friendly but they would not take dogs. I innocently asked if that applied to service dogs as well and Raul (the hotel manger) said “Of course I take service dogs…..bring her in.” I didn’t technically lie….I never said Rainy was a service dog….I cannot help it if people make assumptions. I didn’t think this would be a big problem because I just knew in a matter of a few days we could move in.
|I felt like this poor seagull with a broken wing….|
Two weeks later I was ready to HURT SOMEBODY. Here’s the ironic part. The last thing we stipulated in that letter to our dear contractors was if nothing else make sure my mothers bathroom was finished first and then the kitchen. They we just finishing the kitchen and then they had to do my mothers bathroom which involved painting and tiling (including the floors) installing a sink and a toilet and handicap bars……hence the two weeks. I couldn’t even look at my contractors face the last week because I feared I would spit on him.
Now I don’t like bad mouthing anyone and do not like talking behind anyone’s back but my advice to everyone is if you want to remodel a home on Catalina Island DO NOT use Straight Up Builders (OOPS!!).
|Mom going down the hill from the hotel…the same hill that tries to kill me when I am going up….I almost sat on moms lap to get a ride|
Okay so enough of my sarcasm. We FINALLY got in last week. They delivered our stuff. Yes, I knew our house was small but you can never really understand the reality of the situation until three houses worth of stuff is delivered and you have to somehow get it into a very small house (as 90% of most island homes are)….900 sq. ft.
|where the hell am I going to put it all??|
|Front unfinished deck and more stuff|
|the upper backyard and STUFF|
We had given away and sold literally truckloads back in Moab but I can honestly tell you it just wasn’t enough. SO….we frantically tore through boxes trying to part with our last precious belongings as we stored as much as we could under the house. We were racing the clock because everything was outside and Hurricane Fabio was threatening to make our lives very wet. I am happy to tell you we beat Fabio, made some money and made a lot of islanders very happy.
|Incentive to lose weight|
|and two more…..crap!!|
|just a short walk from my house and I have a gorgeous view|
So now we just have the fun of actually really truly going through the rest of the boxes. I am feeling more and more like my grandmother everyday….its just stuff. If it doesn’t fit comfortably in this home it goes. I am so over carting books and junk all over the country. But don’t get me wrong I am saving every last one I can.
Did Straight Up Builders pay for our hotel and meals you ask? Well no they didn’t….but this is not over….have no worries….a new drama unfolds everyday of which I will keep you informed of every last detail.
|Trying to keep a smile on my face|
So we live in Paradise you say….yes we do and I am starting to get that through my head as I now take time to walk the island and explore. Also Rainy met the new vet here and he is fantastic. We finally got Rainy’s staples removed and I am pleased to say she healed beautifully.
|Rainy and her 23 staples|
|Still a happy dog as always|
The newest addition of our family arrived last Tuesday and she is PRECIOUS> Rose arrived with her new friend Rapi on the barge at 9:00 last Tuesday. I had Rapi’s mom Haley (the girl who literally drives the yellow submarine) pick me up and we drove the truck onto the barge, hitched the trailer and drove inland to Middle Ranch where I spent the night with Haley, Rose and Rapi. I haven’t woken up in Middle Ranch since I was a little girl. It was heaven.
|Me and Haley Strickler….the girl that drives the Yellow Submarine|
|The Barge approaching|
|Note the little horse trailer tucked between the containers|
|Trying to calm the horses….their sedation had definitely worn off by the time they got there….the whole trailer was jerking as the horses kicked up a ruckus|
|Me seeing Rosie for the first time|
|She is beautiful|
|I am too jazzed|
The only thing left to do is to get a vehicle that will get me to the interior to see my Rose but we have found something that we think may work. A mini, mini van. Its a mini van the size of a golf cart that is completely electric. Its adorable. We will test drive it for a month but it should get me there and back. It has 250 minutes on a charge. Its only ten miles to Middle Ranch BUT….the vehicle tops out at 25 mph. A far cry from my Mustang…I know….but to drive the roads that get you into the interior any faster would be suicide anyway. In the meantime I have met a bunch of great people that are all part of the Saddle Club here so I have been able to get plenty of rides up there.
|The mini mini van….note the golf cart tow truck behind it|
So that is a brief synopsis of what has been three weeks of a lot of ups and downs. I truly think things will start to improve and in fact have already done so. Ron and I have taken some stolen moments to have fun and I have found a wonderful nurse named JoJo that comes and takes care of my mother for two hours four days a week. My mothers care is now incredible and I feel blessed to have her.
I will now make multiple posts a week as my saga continues. Thank you to all of you that have worried and stressed at my absence and thank you for all the love and concern that has been sent my way.