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05 August 2006

Caribbean Move Update

This is Ali, as in Mohammed Ali, or Ali Baba. He's a little island mutt that Raf is fostering right now and most likely adopting because, well, because she has fallen head over heels in love with this guy.

I am not thrilled at the idea of having a 3rd dog, but I'll survive.

So the move is coming up. Raf gets to town on August 18, and then we bring Paco the Love Taco down to Pennsylvania to be with his Auntie Maggie, and after being there for a day or two, we come back up to Portland to deal with everything left to be dealt with. We're hoping to stop in southern Mass and visit my aunt and uncle, too. I'm working my buns off trying to make sure that there isn't too too much to deal with as far as packing goes, but there's a ton of stuff still to do, and a bunch of stuff that we need to get that we won't be able to get on the island.

We fly out of Boston at the crack of dawn on Sept 2, and I arranged it with our landlord that we can spend the night of August 31 here in the apartment, so we'll just need to either pull an all-nighter, or get a hotel for half a night by Logan Airport. We'll do whatever is best for the dogs. The animals are starting to get stressed out by all the boxes that litter the apartment, but there's nothing I can do about it. I'm doping there water with Rescue Remedy, though.

I sold the car to a student, so that was easy, and a friend said that he is very likely going to buy the bed, though I need to track him down this week and confirm. I certainly don't want to get stuck with storing it. I don't want to lift anything I don't have to lift!

I still need to sell Cathy's (our dearly departed rat friend) old cage, a big and beautiful mirror we have, and that's about it. Everything else is either being gifted away, stored away, thrown away, or making the trip along with us!

I spent about a month working on getting quotes from cargo companies, and boy! It's expensive - more than we could have ever imagined - to ship our stuff down there. All we wanted to bring was about 10 book boxes, 5 33-gallon tubs full of clothes and shoes and stuff, the computer and printer, and the stereo. Alas, just that would cost almost $6000. Crazy, right? So we've quickly reevaluated, and we've decided that no, I will not DJ on the island, and the stereo unfortunately will have to stay behind. This is the worst part of all! The iPod will have to suffice. Another rough part is that we will not be bringing many books - just what we can shove in our bags. There is no bookstore on the island (I rack my brain at night wondering how that can be) and even worse, NO LIBRARY. Apparently, it burned down and there's no money to rebuild. I'll be counting on friends to bring stuff down to me on visits. That will be your guest fee! We're Fed Ex-ing the computer (which will cost about $300), and it will take about a week to get there. I called the airlines about excess baggage costs, and in addition to our 2 free bags, we can pay $100 for each additional bags, with a limit of 3 additional bags per person, so we're going to go that route. That's $600 in excess baggage fees, and we think that it's a whole lot better than $6000 to ship very little stuff! Also, R gets a moving allowance, so we'll be reimbursed for all of this, which is WAY COOL. I had already rented a storage garage, but it isn't big enough now with this change of plans, so I am going to have to give in and rent the big $150/month UHaul. Man, I hate being poor. We can't afford to ship everything, we can't afford to sell our whole library (it's mostly books that we have), so we have to afford $150 a month, which when one adds it up - who can really afford that? Alas. Maybe one day we'll own a house just for storing stuff. That's what the plan originally was when we moved to Maine, but for those of you that remember what we went through then with our friend, the money we had saved for a down payment went down the proverbial drain, so to speak. Anyway, that was long ago. We're starting over now.

Other news....
I gave my notice at SMCC, where I've enjoyed teaching for the last couple years, and the departments head said it would be great if I could continue teaching for them online, so I'm teaching a lit class this fall! They don't pay well - not nearly as well as UAF - but I enjoy teaching lit more than comp, and I could never turn down a lit class. It's not very time consuming and it's very enjoyable, so I'm looking forward to that. I am teaching 2 comp classes for UAF, so I'll have a bit of income coming in, but not much. I can take free classes at UAF b/c I teach there, and I'm planning on signing up for an Intro to Marine Biology class this fall. I've never taken anything like it, but I loved loved loved my high school biology classes. It was the math in chemistry that dragged me down. I've never had any math teachers who could get algebraic concepts to make sense to me.

I have about 17 writing projects I'm eager to work on in the Caribbean, too, so needless to say, I should be pretty busy down there. I actually have been writing quite a bit this summer, too, though I'm not completing anything. I'm bouncing from project to project, and it suits me just fine. I'm not focused enough to finish something right now.

We truly hope that we start getting emails that people want to come visit. Right now, we only know for sure of 3 friends who are coming, and they are coming in June of next year. Other people have been talking about coming in 2008, but we're not sure we'll be there after December 2007 when R's contract ends. That won't be decided until next fall, I'm sure, when the contract renewal comes up. So plan on visiting either this fall of winter or next year. We have PLENTY of room, and we figure we can sleep up to 10 people at a time.

Once I'm there, I'll be changing the name of this blog, and making it more a travelogue of our Mind-Boggling Adventures in the Caribbean. I hope that I will have much more time than now to keep the thing updated.

OK - I need to bust a move. I have 101 things to do today, so I should get going!


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