Tag Archives: moving

Living Air Purifiers

New plantsThere’s no nice way to say it… the new apartment stinks. At first I thought it was the carpet smelled like pet… then I wondered if a previous owner smoked, but my husband who smells a lot clearer than I do found the main source: the wood around the sliding glass door reeks of some weird chemical scent. Perhaps they used something as a sealant or an extermination spray… whatever it is, it’s stinky.

That naturally has my husband look at indoor air filters, while my reaction was to always open the sliding door and run a fan every moment I’m home. However, in his research, my husband discovered a delightful fact: NASA discovered some houseplants naturally purify the air.

Now if that isn’t a wonderful excuse to go out and buy a bunch of houseplants, I don’t know what is!plants 2

I love the idea of houseplants, and over the years I’ve kept a couple of them alive, but mostly small things. I’d managed to keep a Christmas Cactus, a philodendron (which split into two), and an African Violet alive most recently in Hood River. However, with the husbandly backing and a buy one get the second one half off deal at Fred Myers, we went on an indoor plant spree.

Looking over this list on wikipedia and this nice gallery of photos, we wrote down the ones that take the least light (since the apartment is pretty dim), and headed out, returning with eight lovely plants. If they live, I’m all for doubling it, really. The greener the better and it can’t hurt the air in here.

Although, note, we currently are petless and childless and a lot of these plants, including my fabulous Peace Lily can be poisonous. We picked the ones noted for doing the best job on the air, but wikipedia also lists whether they’re poisonous or not.

Now, next on my list, the fact all the cats in the neighborhood think the spot right next to our door is a litter box. Sigh. That’s not helping our air quality either. I’m thinking some plants in large buckets/planters with rocks around the base of it all, which will hopefully discourage everyone from pooping there.

Ah, apartment living!  Just what everyone aspires to, isn’t it?

From the Dreaded One’s Desk: Horde on the Move

Dreaded One The Most Evil Dreaded One dug through the pile of laundry.  “Someone is going to pay for this!”  She growled, throwing laundry everywhere.

The minions by the door ducked.  “I’ve heard unmatched socks are all the fashion rage, your dreadfulness,” one of them suggested.

“And you could just wear your pajama pants to work,” the other one said, dodging a pair of pants.

“Next you’ll be telling me dirty underwear is trendy.”  The Dreaded Author aimed, fired, and made two direct hits with a couple pairs of aforementioned clothing items.

The head transportation minion leaned into the doorway.  “It’s time to go, your awfulness!  We must fine the new evil lair!”

“I don’t know what’s so exciting about that,” muttered the Dreaded One.  “I just moved into this parental basement four months ago.”  Seizing the prize of clean underwear and two almost matching socks, the Dreaded one slammed the door on the minions.

Forty-five minutes later found the Dreaded One looking over a shabby apartment.

“As you can see, this tower apartment offers an airy living room and a great view of the park.” The rental agency minion swept a clawed hand grandly across the room.

The Dreaded One crossed her arms and glared a fiery red glare across the room. “And the bedrooms are the size of postage stamps. Next!”

“Well…”  The minion waved his hand, sending them teleporting to the next one.  “What about this one?  It’s dark and dank, just like an evil lair should be.”

The Dreaded One creaked down the stairs to eye the half-basement bedrooms. “It’s the prisoners, not the Dark Lord who live in a dungeon! Next!”

Poof!  “This one is newly renovated.  Three bedrooms, huge living room, two car garage–”

“What’s that?” The Dreaded One eyed the slightly roach-shaped objects at the bottom of the toilet.

The minion flushed it.  “Oh, I guess the bugs keep getting in when I keep the door open… showing this house far too much…”

The Dreaded One marched back to the kitchen, unimpressed.  She peered in the sink, opened, the cupboards… nothing.  Then she opened the fridge.  A cockroach waved its antenna at her, slowly, probably since he was chilled.  “I don’t think so!”

Many apartments later, the Dreaded One was losing her patience.  “No upstairs garrets with no ventilation or air conditioning, no houses the size of a pickle jar, no kitchen linoleum that has more wrinkles than a grandmother, and no basement should smell better than the rest of the house!”  The Dreaded One roared, flexing her claws.

“Fine fine.” The rental agency minion held up his hands.  “You’ll just love this one!”


The Dreaded One sniffed suspiciously.  “Doesn’t it smell rather like smoke?”

“Oh, no!  These older apartments just smell a bit musty.”

The Dreaded One sniffed again.  “Definitely smoke.”

“That’s impossible.  We–”

The Dreaded One jabbed a claw and muttered a spell.  With a scream, the minion went up in flames. “Told you it was smoke.”  The Dreaded One sauntered out of the apartment to the waiting hoard.  “Forget agencies.  We’ll pick the next best castle we see and conquer it!  Muahahahaha!”

The minions scrambled after her.  “Um, Your Evilness, shouldn’t we pack first?”

“Or what about the laundry?”

“Did you forget all the weapons are carefully packed up in storage?”

“We simply cannot attack until we’re moved into a new Evil Lair, Your Awfulness,” instead the Second-in-Command Minion.  “It just isn’t done.”

“Fine,” the Dreaded One snarled, feeling distinctly trapped and hating moving with a passion. ” Where was that one with the view of the apartment getto out the window on one side and the parking lot on the other? We can set fire to things while we move.  That should improve the view.”

Hopefully it wouldn’t take too long.  The list of backlogged character in need of torture was painfully long.

Columbia Gorge: sad goodbyes and new hopes

gorge: wind mountainIt’s been a very hectic last 3 weeks.  I apologize for the blogging silence, and ought to be able to stay on track now.  As many of you know, my husband’s company went out of business, and since there’s not many companies in the gorge, and none of the ones there are are hiring positions he fits, we had to move.  Moving quickly meant we saved money, since we’re going to live with my parents until he gets a new job.

I’ve had a hard time leaving the gorge.  I loved it out there, the stunning natural wonders, the long hikes, and the people in the community of Hood River.  I’m still planning so long as I’m in the Portland area to keep on with my new writing group with Zoe (pronounced rhyming with Joey, not toe) once a week.  Every Tuesday since Nanowrimo we’ve kept up the write in, although we end up debating what makes a good story more often then actually writing.  I’ve also promised myself to go hiking out there regularly as the weather gets better, it’s such an inspiration.

gorge starvation creekWhile I’m hopeful that there’ll be new and exciting things where ever we live next, it’s a bit stressful I have no idea where that’s going to be.  Sigh.  We’re pretty much job searching in all of Western Oregon.  On the bright side, we have wonderful families to support us during this time of transition, something I’m really grateful for.

I hope to come back to the gorge (perhaps when I’m a famous best selling author with an independent income, right?), as I’ve really loved living out here, but if not, I will let it remain a very active part of my life.  The depth of the inspiration to my writing and spirituality here has been amazing.  There’s so much I still have yet to explore.  I’d like this summer to explore every single exist between Troutdale and The Dalles once the weather is nicer.  There’s a few I’ve never taken (like Wyeth) and some I’ve only done a couple things on that have a ton of interesting hikes I have yet to try (like around Bonneville dam).

gorge: bigen washington

The gorge is also recognizable in several quiet ways in my novels, and I expect it’ll keep showing up.  It’s on the same scale as the stunning natural scapes we see in the Lord of the Rings movies (I’d love to see New Zealand also) and close to home so I don’t need to save up any money to just spend a sunny afternoon hiking in it.  But I also remind myself that Oregon and Washington have plenty of other great natural things to see, even if they aren’t as breathtaking, and so wherever I end up, I hope to be able to keep featuring interesting hikes I’m taking as regular blog posts.


More Moving… and Sylvanian Heights

So, last week blogging (and nothing else) happened due to moving.  Now I’m still living in a sea of boxes, but at least I have a couch and internet, and that’s what counts, right?

In the middle of doing boring things like trying to find the potato peeler or the tray that holds the silverware, I’ve decided to take a few peaceful moments to start unpacking the sylvanians. I  haven’t seen most of them in something like ten years, so it’s almost like getting brand new things.  And having a second bedroom I now have a place to do it.

Now, I should mention, that I have a slightly cynical streak when it comes to Sylvania, and always have.  For example, due to lack of money, some of the families are only partial families… with relatives dead or divorced… and sometimes orphan children that get adopted into unmatching families… but then sometimes when I get the right family for the child, the parent who had the child had to give it up to its proper parents.  Such are the hazards of adoption (I remember the baby Jessica fiasco on the news was happening around this time as a major influence).  And don’t get me started on the not-really-sylvanians-but-off-brand-animal getto, where they get the smaller houses and not as nice furniture.

I remember trying to explain this to some adult who was horrified, and said something to the effect of, in a play world, shouldn’t everything be ideal and perfect?  Why recreate the misery of real life?

Bah!  That’s no fun.

So, as Sylvania forms again… we start off with only the school house, where most (but not all) the refugees were packed.  It was a small and light box, so I was able to grab it (and am still missing most of the other boxes of stuff since they were up in my parent’s attic and didn’t make the moving truck).  Ever since all of Sylvania was destroyed in some epic disaster, everyone has been crowded together, unsure who else had survived, so now they get to come out and see who else has made it.

Many families are incomplete.  Everyone’s worried but the final verdict isn’t in either, so maybe more people have survived.  There’s a few new figures, so they at least can have some happy reunions with their long lost family members.

Now, the only proper house to make it in the initial move, besides the school building, is a shelf my uncle made of cheap apartment housing.  The four shelf levels are divided into two rooms each, with a doorway.  The decorative panel on the shelf is cracked from its years as a bookshelf and moving around, but has survived in decent condition.  Considering I live now on the Hood River “heights,” I decided to rename the whole apartment Sylvanian Heights.

These are very simple accommodations, at the height of Sylvania when I was young, poorer families resided there, but right now are at a premium, as they are the only building available.  So, four families won an apartment by semi-random selection.  I picked two newer families, two older families, and they had to be ones I knew I had all the members to someplace.

The Deer family and the Sugar Bear family won from the new ones, and the Fox and Beagle family from the older ones (1990’s Calico Critters).  Most of them have no furnature, as I only found a few meager pieces, but everyone’s excited to have won the housing lottery.

Everyone else has to camp out by the school house at least until next weekend, at which point hopefully I can talk my husband into believing me the most important items to be brought next are the rest of Sylvania.  The trouble is, the one real doll house, the original one that belongs to my very first family (the Raccoon from the 1980s) is huge.  Its beautiful, but it might not fit this first trip with so many other things still to bring.  Whenever it makes it though, it still belongs to the Raccoon.

The 1% of Sylvania may have to wait a little longer on the refugee list.  I guess money can’t buy you everything right away in this world… a little unrealistic. I have to have a little fantasy somewhere in here, right?