Friday, November 21, 2014

Rules of the Road

It's been a while, ya'll.

I found I needed to sacrifice blogging on the altar of grad school homework, a full-time job, and two part-time jobs. But all things come to an end, the good and the stressful. And in the interest of time, and in the words of Indigo Montoya, "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up..."

I graduated in June. I had started packing in May. We celebrated our third anniversary with a week vacation to Disney World in August--it was a little slice of heaven. At the end of August, family and friends helped us pack up our worldly possessions and move from one state to another for the third time in three years. Yes, we have the best family ever.

So where does that leave us now, my friends, with the grad-school and big-city-living roads behind us? On an entirely new road, and one for which we are still learning the rules.

When Nic and I decided to move back to Michigan and back to Ann Arbor, family was pretty much the  only thing that was guaranteed. There was no deposit paid on an apartment, no downpayment on a house, no contracts signed for new jobs--just the promise of love and support from both of our families.

That was the first rule: sometimes, family is enough.

Now, three months into living back home with my parents, that list has gotten a lot longer. This road we are now on that is called living-in-my-parents'-house-with-99%-of-our-possessions-in-storage-and-saving-every-penny-for-a-house has some funny rules. Let me share a few:

1. If you use the fireplace, do not leave the flu open when you are finished. But don't close it unless every ember is out or else you might set off the carbon monoxide detector. Also vacuum anything you track in from getting wood for the fire. And don't touch the furniture with sooty hands after you have made the fire. What I'm saying is, you REALLY need to think about how much you want a fire in the fireplace.

2. Do not overfeed the cat. But don't let her yowl her lungs out in the stairwell because she wants to be fed more. What you have to do is pour the leftover dry food on her plate, which she won't eat for some reason, back into the container and then pour out less of it onto her plate again. Reindeer games ain't got nothin' on psycho cat games.

3. We no longer use the garbage disposal. Except for meat. But not bacon/sausage/gyro drippings because those clog up the disposal, so pour those out in the garden. All other food remains go into the compostable (which we did not have as kids growing up). Also, if you leave less than a full glass of milk in the upstairs fridge, you are forced to drink the rest of that gallon and then go bring up a new gallon from the basement. You must also replace the eggs if you use the last of them.

4. Don't run the dishwasher or the laundry appliances between 10am and 5pm because the electricity costs more. But don't let the full dishwasher sit all day because I need to have the kitchen clean before dinner. So run the dishwasher before bed, unload during the day, and try and do laundry first thing in the morning…but don't forget that you've started laundry and then not be able to dry your clothes because it's 10:15am and those electrons now cost twice as much to jump around and run the dang dryer.

5. Don't leave the microwave messages scrolling if you take your food/tea/coffee out early. It will burn out the bulbs.

6. Recycle.All.The.Things. This was hard at first because we didn't recycle anything in Houston or Chicago.

7. The compost and recyclables go out on Sunday night. But not the trash, just in case that creepy guy is out there and wants to go through it. Trash has to go out early Monday morning.

8. Certain Wusthoff knives are NOT DISHWASHER SAFE. Inspect all knives going into the dishwasher.

9. Don't leave the TV on a random HDMI or certain family members may not be able to get the cable working again.

10. Move your car off the street before 8am on football home game days, or you'll get a ticket.

*11. Whenever you are at the grocery store, always buy milk, eggs, whipped cream, half&half/creamer, and Le Croix drinks because these are the five things this family of five adults goes through faster than cell phone data.

But all rules aside, we are so blessed to be living comfy at home with my family. Nic got a job transfer to the Apple store in town and his commute is now 10 minutes instead of the hour it was back in Chicago. I was able to secure a contract doing search engine optimization content development from home. And now we are saving, saving, saving to build our very first house.

I also get to have the cat to myself 8 hours a day, five days a week, so that's pretty sweet.

Have your roads changed recently? Are you adjusting to new rules?

*This list goes to eleven. Because it can.