Having been almost entirely absent from BC2 for two weeks, I'm seriously feeling the withdrawal. Believe me, the away time has not been by choice; I've been growing up in a hurry.

That's right, folks. Cheb owns (half) a house now. Cheb also owns half a mortgage, but is trying not to think about that part, so let's pretend no one mentioned it, OK?

But buying a house means many things. It means dealing with the pine needle-covered roof. It means cleaning the gutters -- something the previous owners haven't done once in the five years they've owned the place. It also, as it turns out, means discovering wasps' and hornets' nests inside said gutters -- six at last count, five of them occupied. There were also dandelions growing in there, but given the choice, I'll take dandelions over hornets every time.

But more than anything else, buying a house means boxes.
And lots.
Of boxes.

Oh, how I long for the carefree, largely immaterial days of my university career! I owned stuff, mind you, but nowhere near this degree of stuff. I owned books, too. In fact, I owned about 700 of them. When I moved in with my now-wife, we'd discovered that there were about 300 duplicates in our respective collections. Out they went, and we were left with roughly 1500 books. Over the years, we've been trying to keep a handle on those things breeding, so we only had to move about 1800 volumes. Take my advice, folks: Partner up with someone who has similar literary tastes. Your back will thank you for it. (anyone mentioning e-readers can go jump off a bridge, thankyouverymuch)

Just in case you weren't sure, I'm a packrat. But counter to common misconceptions, being a packrat doesn't mean you're good at packing, oh no. It simply means you're really crap at throwing things away. Thankfully, the wife is far better about this than I am. To wit, she's only kept her decade's worth of National Geographic back issues through three moves and eight years. Yes, that *is* better than I am. Scared yet?

And so the results of the last two weeks of mad rushing to and fro, having the lift gate of the moving truck break down, and six days of heavy rain...
The new place:
-No longer retains any traces of hideous pink (I'll put up pictures of the original living room colour; you need to see it to believe it)
-Has most of its gutters, and all of its roof, cleared of pine needles
-Has food in the fridge
-Has a parrotlet (old) and a dog (new)
-Has completely new, tobacco smoke-free, paint on the walls in the living rooms
-Has used up three gallons of vinegar (washing the smoke residue off the walls)
-Has DSL -- not a given by any means in a rural area such as this
-Has almost no trace of the insane amounts of chlorine the previous owners dumped in the well before selling
-Has a severely unmowed lawn. Until next week at the very least. I don't care.

The old place:
-Has the vast majority of the pots, pans, glasses, cutlery, and dried goods
-Has some more touch-up painting to do, as well as some spackling
-Has TWO utterly empty rooms!
-Has a newly-painted front door. Huh, I guess they *did* use a different shade of white than the touch-up paint I bought...
-Has at least two carloads' worth of recycling to be taken away. That's one more carload than I can put in the car, incidentally. And the recycling centre is an hour and a half drive away...

Tune in next week when I delve into the mysterious depths of in-sink garbage disposal!

PS. Protip: When moving, do NOT buy boxes from your local UPS store, the hardware store, or Mall-Wart. Check out ULine. Then cry about how much you'd been overpaying for boxes over the years.