Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mabel and Grandpa

Bonus shot: Mabel and Grandpa! We love that little girl!  It was fun to stop moving boxes and furniture today and just play a little!

Horse Flats Hike

Brittany and John invited us to join them on their Saturday hike today. They're trying to see how many trails they can try out. It turns out there are a lot to choose from!

We went to Horse Flats in the Alpine Loop of American Fork Canyon today. We did the loop ending back at the Summit Trailhead.

It was nice hike with a lot of wildflowers alongside the trail. It was not too steep, so we enjoyed that.

The trial was also lined with abundant aspen trees that provided occasional shade.

It led through a very pretty open meadow with some nice mountain vistas.

We took a break for water and snacks about half way through. We learned that Mabel loves dill pickles!

Ed carried Mabel on the way out. She was a great hiker and loved reaching out to grab plants as we walked by. 

We enjoyed feeling the ice cold water coming out of the pipe at Horseshoe springs.

I'd rate the hike 4 dusty hiking shoes out of 5. It was not crowded, quite lovely, well defined, with a good destination. 

Fitbit steps earned: 7600!

Nuttall Time

We could spend 12 hours a day moving in, but it gets exhausting. Luckily, the Nuttalls invited us to lunch yesterday and gave us a break. Ellis and Marti are Brittany's in-laws. They live in Provo and have been very good to Brittany and John. We invited them to come see our new house after lunch. We enjoyed showing it, even though it is still somewhat in disarray. Coda, as always loved having company as well!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Don't Move with Exclusive Van Lines

I don't like to post negative things on my blog, but in an effort to help the next unsuspecting person the pain we've been through, I would like to post a few pictures of the aftermath of our move with Exclusive Van Lines.

We moved from Maryland to Utah. We had one 53 foot truck and two thirds of a second truck. The first truck was a direct load and delivery with moderate damage. The second was loaded into smaller trucks, transported to the warehouse and then loaded into a larger truck.

We never knew when the packers or movers would show up. We were not notified when the truck would arrive, and when we called and got information it was erroneous. Some items were well packed (we paid for a full pack), and others were stuck in a box carelessly with no padding.

Our beautiful dining room china cabinet and hutch were both scuffed up on all the corners. 

Our entertainment center was scratched in the removal of the top section.

We are missing countless shelves and shelf hardware.

We are still missing a 4 foot by 8 foot pegboard and a 4 inch memory foam queen mattress topper. We may be missing many other items as well. In addition to the broken china and artwork, there are rubber stoppers missing on our mini-trampolines. The rubber bar cover to the trampoline was slashed. One TV doesn't work. One set of speakers, packed on the bottom of a box with no padding, also does not work anymore. 

The set of three Chinese musicians was laying, unprotected at the bottom of a box. We managed to transport them all the way from China without breaking a thing. They lost a head an arm and an instrument in our latest move. It was heartbreaking. Here are a few pictures. We'll be filing a claim, but I'm sure it won't make up for the emotional damage we've suffered throughout this ordeal! And, sadly, we have not opened every box yet. There is a high probability of more heartache to come!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Four Tender Mercies

We had four minor miracles yesterday, starting with the Murphy's Oil Soap. My mom had suggested using it to clean my kitchen table. It had an oily grunge feel to the top of it, and I'd tried everything (except Murphy's oil soap). It cleaned up beautifully in just minutes! I'm so happy! Now we don't have to buy a new table! Thanks, Mom!

Number two, was having our financial adviser, Tim, drop by with his family to help us move a piano, table, chairs and filing cabinet to Brittany and John's house. He fit it all into his pickup! That's what I call a full service professional! Thanks, Tim!

Three: The Young Women's presidency dropped by with a spaghetti dinner with salsa fresh from the stove made by the Young Women of the ward. Considering we still haven't gone grocery shopping, this was truly a welcome gift. We enjoyed visiting with them and learning more about our new ward, as well.

Thanks Young Women!

Four: the miracle of Sub-Zero ice cream. Ed had never seen them freeze the ice cream with liquid nitrogen. It was mysterious and delicious at the same time.

It was a nice treat for Ed and me after a long day of hard work in which Ed connected my computer and helped me set up my study.

Thanks, Ed!

Just in case you think everything is hunkey dorey in Happy Valley, there were some disappointments as well. I have to think of them as mere dust in the wind!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Offsetting our Pain

Happy moments today despite discovering more damaged and lost possessions were:

1. Making all the beds.
2. Ed fixing my organ.
3. Deciding where to put art on the walls.
4. Waking up in our own bed.
5. Meeting Brittany and Mabel for dinner.

That makes is all worth it!

Monday, July 25, 2016


Ed and I waited hopefully this morning for the moving crew to arrive. Then we waited some more.

They showed up about 9 with three men and a tiny little woman. They only had a half a truck to unload, so we thought they might finish earlier than last week, but it took the entire day!

It turned out to be the most stressful day yet. Broken dishes, scuffed furniture, missing hardware to assemble furniture... The list goes on and on. To top it off, my organ doesn't even play a note!

Luckily, Brittany came up and spent the afternoon with me unloading kitchen items. We were afraid they wouldn't fit in my new cupboards.

It turns out everything fit, and we went to bed with a clean bar tonight!

Extra shout out to Ed, who was so nice to the workmen despite our constant aggravation! He was amazing! I was very proud of him! It was a good thing one of us was in control!

We still have tons to do in the next few months,  but at least we can do the rest ourselves!

Sunday, July 24, 2016


 More under the title What Could Possibly Go Wrong. Did I really jinx us by saying those words to Ed a mere few weeks ago?

Today, in an attempt to iron my clothes for church, I discovered a handheld steamer in my household goods. I was trying to figure out how to add water when I grabbed the top and pulled. Unfortunately, I had already plugged it in!

(Re-enactment to left)
After 3 hours of ice packs, and no relief from the pain, we went to the medicine cabinet (which fortunately arrived on the first moving van). We applied some burn gel and wrapped the hand in gauze.

The relief was immediate, and I was able to attend church with no pain. I met a lot of really nice people, but none of them asked me what happened to my hand. I might have had a good laugh about it with my hommies in Maryland!

By the way, I went to church wrinkled, and nobody said a word about that, either!

Ed spent the afternoon boning up on the sprinkler system. There are 28 zones, and they water for 12 hours 3 days a week! I am a little afraid to get our water bill next month!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

No Moving Today

We took an unexpected break from moving in today to go up to Salt Lake City with my mom.

Brittany and John had given us some tickets they couldn't use to see the King Singers and the Mormon Tabernacle choir in their Pioneer Day concert. It was a great concert and helped us forget our woes for a few hours.

We enjoyed going out to eat at the Macaroni Grill before the concert. I had forgotten how delicious their food is!

Coda was happy to be left at home with a jar of peanut butter.

Also left at home was a semi trailer with the other half of our worldly goods inside. It had arrived at 8 this morning, but no crew showed up to unload it. Now we will have to wait till Monday to finally get our beds.

We're all sleeping on couches tonight (including Grandma)! It's a good thing we have lots of them!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Great Outdoors

Ed and I started and ended the day on the patio. Although it was 100 degrees out, the sun didn't make it over the mountain for a while, and we enjoyed breakfast in the shade.

Then we worked really hard all day! I made great inroads into our pile of boxes, and Ed was busy in his study and putting magnetic stoppers on a few doors.

We're hoping the movers come with the rest of our stuff tomorrow!

Brittany, John and Mabel dropped by for dinner, and we enjoyed sitting out on the patio in the evening. There was a light breeze and the view is so beautiful! We're loving our mountains!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Home and Family

We have learned a lot on this trip. One of them is you can take your dog inside Home Depot. Coda, of course. loved it! Every time we buy a new house we start shopping in earnest at Home Depot!

Back at the house we resumed opening and sorting boxes. there is a shocking amount of boxes to go through!

We took a short break when my sister, Annette dropped by with her daughter Lyndsie and her two granddaughters. It was fun showing them the house. Miriam and Sophie were more interested in the dog!

We went over to Brittany's house for dinner and Ed got Mabel laughing her head off! Brittany said she was crabby before we got there, but it was hard to believe!

After dinner we got to see Mabel walking around the living room with her old lady type walker. What will they think of next? It was so great, and it made her feel very proud of herself to walk back and forth between Grandpa and me. We enjoyed it as much as she did!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Deer, Dear Friends

We were so excited to see the beautiful deer in our backyard this afternoon, munching away on our flowers. We loved his great big mule deer ears.

Coda was so happy to have some deer friends out here, as well as Maryland. She was on high alert!

We also had dear friends, Chuck and Renee drop by and help us unpack. We had lunch together and enjoyed hearing the things Chuck and Renee (California transplants) have enjoyed about living in Utah. We're looking forward to enjoying the good life they are talking about!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Moving in Day

We met our van driver at the new house this morning at 7 a.m. We were raring to get starting moving in!

Ed got the not so coveted job of checking off every item and box by number as it rolled into the garage!

It was fun watching the house slowly come together with a few furnishings. But, it was also exhausting. We got 20,000 steps from just working around the house.

We had 4 hard working boys helping us today. When we couldn't find the dog, we occasionally found her hanging with the workers on their break.

Thank heavens Ed is retired and had the time and patience to copy his forms for Victor and sign each page of the inventory list.

Brittany and Mabel dropped by after work to see how we were doing! It made us remember why we're doing this!

Mabel had a good time playing with a discarded tape roll!

Mabel was also very interested in Coda, but Coda did her best to steer clear of Mabel.  Mabel is crawling really well now, but she couldn't keep up with a dog on the run!

We're back at Grandma's tonight, taking a break from moving in. We hope to stay in our new house later this week if the second van with the beds shows up!

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Home Owners

We are now the owners of a beautiful, new home in Alpine Utah. The realtor and the title company met us there there morning, and we signed a couple of papers, and it was ours!

 It has a beautiful view of the valley from the front porch.

And a beautiful view of the mountain behind.

Coda didn't know what to think of it. She was happy just to follow Ed and me around wherever we went.

We had lunch while we waited for the movers to show up. They did not show up. When we called them they said they would come tomorrow. It might have been nice to know in advance!

Since the movers didn't come, we decided to go down to City Hall and sign up for our utilities. It had a cute small town feel, and they even gave us a welcome bag with goodies inside it!

We drove to Walmart, where Ed said, "Look, there is our moving van!" Sure enough, Victor, our Latvian driver was biding his time in the parking lot. He promised to bring a crew of guys to unload tomorrow morning!

In the evening we dropped by to see Mabel, who is getting bigger and more clever every time we see her!

We enjoyed dinner together with Brittany and Mabel at a Mexican restaurant that had an outdoor patio (for Coda).

Ed says it feels like he is visiting, and we will be going home soon. Maybe when our furniture shows up it will feel like home!