Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The heaviest load

 On August 10th we finally moved into our new place. The new landlady is also our old landlady. After 5 years of our tiny living we decided to upgrade for many different reasons. The landlady has very nice houses. Like I said earlier, I recruited children to help me and the landlady move her things around in the basement. So, on a warm day 3 kids under bar and bas mitzvah age shuttled the contents of the tiny house to the larger house. Remember, it is next door so not even a bike was required.

People are always impressed that these kids manage to do real work. Several years ago when they were little we went and picked fruit at a neighbors house and in return we cleaned up the yard of all the rotten fruit. Another year this trio picked the fruit from our trees and then delivered the excess to anyone who would take plums. I see this happening again because their is much talk about the "ancient pears".

Let's take a look at kid labor:

The contents of this room were to be walked over. It is amazing how much stuff we can mange to smoosh into that house. It doesn't look like much but in reality it was a lot. I don't have shots of the closet and drawers.

Not much left except Legos! Of course! 

This the room once it had been cleared. Baby Peyos moves around a lot. His face is still but the rest of his body is in motion.

Same kid room minus all her stuff. These kids worked fast!

The books got moved now all this miscellaneous stuff.

This is the living room without everything but a bookshelf and our bikes. At this point Mr. Peyos and his friend were taking it apart because it was WAY to heavy to bring over intact.  To make the move more exciting, we lost the screws in the process. We found loose screws everywhere during this move. If you lost your screws they are here! It became the running joke, "someone lost a screw".

Other interesting stuff, in the process of switching over our internet we were completely disconnected on Augsust 8th and didn't get everything back and running until the 20th! Yes, we lived without internet. At what cost? It meant, I did the move mostly with kid labor, while holding a baby because Mr. Peyos was not able to work from home. It also meant that I ended up only being enrolled in one of my graduate school classes.

It's okay. I am taking Vocabulary and Thesaurus design. I think that should be enough. If the wind blew in a certain direction we were able to see the WIFI of  friends who live on a different street. They even gave us the password but we didn't even try. If it wasn't for work or school turns out that you can survive without internet. You do stuff the old fashion way. You call people rather than text or whatever social media. My phone did a number on me and decided to not receive text messages and other stuff. My mom called me when I didn't answer 2 text messages but that doesn't matter because she would call me just to ask if I saw her text, hahaha.

Probably the hardest and heaviest thing to bring over were my raised beds and all the compost. The second I gave over the keys to the old place everything belonged to the landlady. So, I asked to take anything from the property after that. It took me some time to take it all but it got done and when I was finally tired I hired a kid to take apart my compost bins I made with pallets so that I can make a neat pile of garbage for the dump. After doing a cost difference it turned out that hiring Seattle Rubbish Removal. They came on time, the truck was clean and the guys were very professional. It was do that or borrow a Zip Truck and go to the dump with a baby who hates cars. The pallets alone were enough to consider a dump run. I didn't take a picture after I took the raised beds because the house turn over was quick. The tiny house took less than one day for the landlady to make ready and by the end of the week she had a renter. That raised bed in the picture had a secret, a wasp hive. It was fun to remove.

So, we are more settled in our new house and found the screws. They were put in my box with a hand steam cleaner. Good thing that is my favorite thing, otherwise we would still be looking for screws.

No, we did not add a new bike to our fleet because we now have tons of room for more. Who needs couches, people can just lounge on our bikes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh Portland!

Cascade train to Portland
We took a break from our move to redeem my birthday gift. I not saying when or if it happened but a couple of months ago Mr. Peyos asked me what I wanted to do. So, as crazy as it sounds I wanted to stay at the Tiny House Hotel. At that moment we were still dwelling in La Casita and going to Portland to stay in a tiny house just was going to be SO fun!

The conductor gave him his own seat
This week we quietly left the house, boarded the Amtrak train south and landed in Portland. Since I had zero time to plan this trip, aside from making the reservations for the train and hotel, we kinda arrived to the fanfare of, "now what?"

We arrived to touch all the public art.
At the Amtrak station we paid $4 to have our luggage stored so we didn't walk around like hobos. Baby Peyos was forced to wear a cloth diaper cover on top of a disposable diaper. I am so paranoid about explosions I just didn't want to have leakage. We cloth diaper and this never happens. Also, if you cloth diaper you know that all those pee diapers get heavy and I really wasn't into carrying 10 lbs of wet diapers.
A plethora of parking for your shopping carts
Now I wanted to rent bikes for all of us but decided not to in the end. So we walked. We walked to Powell's from the Amtrak. Wow, Portland is SO CLEAN! I mean, it doesn't even smell like a urinal. How do you do it? Plus you have those drinking fountains for humans called Bubblers. That could have been an all day activity finding them and drinking out of them. Wait, was that a no no?

People are happy they don't have to climb mountains to go places.

Portlanders are also happy! Even your crazy people are happy in a way that doesn't scare me. Seattle has crazy people that you are pretty sure will take out of knife and try to take a swing at you just because they are crabby. Everyone is happy in Portland, even the bus drivers! I was so amazed by public transportation and the fact that even normal people get on the bus.

Hills: Portland, your hills are SO cute! I mean SO cute. They are like tiny humps in the road. We laughed at your hills and people thought we were crazy. In any case, Portland has so many colorful people but I honestly think Mr. Peyos freaked your people out. We got a lot of second looks. We even had a guy with faux peyos approach us and was kinda weirded out by the Chasidic guy.
We were highly entertained for many hours

So, we spent a lot of time in Powells. It is a dangerous place to go for a family like us. My daughter ended up schlepping around close to 20 lbs of books by the end of the day. It was so heavy for her, but she was happy.

Now on to bikes: We saw so many regular people on bikes and then we saw tall bikes like it was normal. I think I screamed every time we spotted one. I think we looked crazy, pointing and yelling, "tall bike!!" We only saw one person wearing spandex and he looked angry and irrational. Everyone else looked happy! How are you also so far north and mange to have so many people who are just content and smile? Not just smile like you are holding in a fart but a genuine smile.

All in one space with our cheese grater steps.
Tiny House Hotel: We stayed at the famous and fun Tiny House Hotel on 12th and NW Alberta. It was tiny and fun. A lot of thought went into the Skyline tiny house. In the end, we figured it was probably best to stay in a different one for the next trip. The stairs to the top bunk were industrial and were really meant to walk on with shoes. If you walked barefoot it was like a cheese grater ready to take some skin off. For a religious family who needs to do stuff like daven (pray) maybe we should have picked a different tiny house.

Probably the first time tefillin have been in here
Mr. Peyos was too tall to daven on the top loft so he ended up in the middle of the whole thing. Good thing we had a handy mechitzah. What did we eat? Well, we walked to get tofurky and bread down the street. We ate a lot of fruit and drank water. It was non-eventful. In the morning I picked up coffee at a shop that declared, "I like my coffee black, just like my metal". The coffee was good!!! While in Portland we spent a tiny bit of time with my friend of many years. We met when we were teenagers and despite how we each live our lives we have remained friends into our old age. The baby was fond of him and managed to not get spit up on him. We loved our stay and will gladly go back again and try a different tiny house.

Back to Bikes: The next day we did what every bike family would do, we went to a bike shop. We picked Clever Cycles as our choice. While in Portland we thought our daughter could try the Brompton. They were so nice at the shop. The bike was set up and then my kid comes towards me and whispers that she changed her mind, she didn't want to try it. In the end, a Brompton was set up for Mr. Peyos and he took a long spin, sans helmet around the cute Portland hills. As nice as the Brompton is Mr. Peyos felt like it didn't work for him. He is very tall and so used to his Dutch bike.

Did we buy anything? We did! Mr. Peyos bought a bag, straps for his rack. I was shocked. The man, never does this but he must have really felt like he needed it. He also tried a rain cape that actually fit him. We actually measured his height at the doctors the other day. He was 6'5 with shoes on, it is ridiculous.

Besides the shinanigans of those guys trying a Brompton I lounged and nursed Baby Peyos, changed his diaper and then stuck him in bikes. He seemed to find the whole experience fun. He is such a smart baby.

After that, we headed to buy bagels at a place called the Bowery. We walked in a little after 2pm and it seems that they were clear out of bagels. The woman very politely said, "we close at 2pm". Oh, I didn't realize. Instead she did a real smile and we left without bagels.

Don't .be sad. You will see us again!
Aww, this trip was so short but now we know that Portland has so much to offer and we can't wait to go back. Thank you for being entertaining and educational! For sure, we will be on bikes for the next trip.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Move by Bike

Good-bye friends!
We are not native to the Seattle wild or even Washington. I grew up in California and my husband is Danish. As a married couple we lived in Denmark then to California and then to Washington. We really haven't moved around a lot. We are simple people. When we moved from Denmark to California we packed all our books into boxes and shipped all 12 boxes to my mother's house. One box got lost in transport but it didn't matter because they were books. We did mourn the loss of the medical skin infections book. It had the most graphic pictures of rashes and other skin problems.
Our Amtrak move to Seattle, say cheese!
Our move from California to Washington involved a POD and an Amtrak train. At that point our daughter was 3 and we didn't have a lot. I had a lot of plants, I ALWAYS have a lot of plants but I had family members who were willing to come dig up my garden for them. We also left a mystical garden in our small patio. My husband always sighs at how much work I always put into someone else's yard. Once in Washington we switched houses 3 times. We lived for one year in Wedgewood/Bryant neighborhood. I bought my 3 speed Fuji bike and the trailer only because I saw the glorious Burke Gilman trail. That bike killed me. The people who told me that 3 gears were enough were SO wrong! Anyways, I was stubborn and kept at it.

Our overpriced blue house, nice but overpriced
After our year in a very expensive house, not according to California rent standards, we moved down to Seward Park. We froze in a house with zero insulation and with a landlord who was keeping a deep dark secret, among all his stuff that he just kinda left in the house. The house went into foreclosure and we were happy to be out of there.  By this time I had a good 2 years biking all of Seattle with a 3 speed and a child. So, I did what any normal sensible person would do. I biked ALL our belongings to our new house a couple of hilly blocks away. We had people wave at us and some kinda stared. Who are those people?

2008 snow that made us realize we had ZERO insulation
So, if you saw a woman with a Burley with loads of stuff, that was me. I would wake up at 5am before anyone in the house was up and cargo stuff back and forth until I had to go to work. In a short span I managed to get most, if all of the house into our new dwelling. It looked crazy but at the time I was in good shape and was well equipped to do it.

My garden I am leaving behind, boo hoo hoo hoo...
After 5 years of living in our place we have decided to upgraded to a house with 2 bathrooms. Our daughter is getting older, my mother wants to come visit more often and so we decided to live in something bigger. Both my husband and I were reluctant to make this move because we like our tiny house and all the time I spent on that garden. We come to realize that the new person in the house needs space and we need that extra bathroom. Are we moving by bike? Nope! We are walking all our stuff right next door. Our landlady owns both properties and for the longest time has wanted us to move into the big house but we didn't feel like we needed. Now that we semi feel like we need it we will be moving houses. I don't know if the timing is exactly how I wanted it. My graduate classes start soon and we had actually planned a trip to Portland WAY before this place was made available. Plus, I have the added distraction of a baby and his cuteness of diapers, feeding and attention. I hired some children, yes children, to move things into the basement until the landlady is done making repairs.

The process of clearing the basement was slightly painful and resulted in some not so nice things happen. The bags of garbage (not my stuff) that were taken to the curb attracted attention. We had someone come in the middle of the night trying to open our door, looking in our window and of the empty house next door. This whole time they were being watched by our neighbor, which scared them off. Nobody planned to tell me this until two days after it happened. Thank G-d nothing happened but after 5 years of living in our house that was a first. I think what was most disappointing was that garbage was spewed all over the road and it had to be picked up. The kid who worked so hard to clean up that mess was pretty disappointed. In the end, our neighbors came through. One neighbor vacuumed up glass and the other one took some heavy items off the property.

I know my husband is going to kill me but now I get to start a whole new forest garden. My motto, "plants over people!!"

So, I am excited about 2 bathrooms and a bigger place to put more bikes. MORE BIKES!!

Bike Escape: Fay Bainbridge Park 2019

I went camping without kids. How did I manage that? (insert shrug) One of the old time pedal parents went with me. Our schedules for this ...