Thursday, June 30, 2011

Decluttering, the move and the future...

Wow, been a long time since I updated this.  Quick decluttering update - Had another garage sale, which sold more stuff, sold some electronica through Craigslist and donated many, many, many more clothes. 
On the morning of June 18th, I packed up the minivan, walked the dog in Streamwood for the last time and left my entire life behind.  Saturday, I made it to just ouside Syracuse before stopping for the night.  The next afternoon, on Father’s Day, I arrived in Maine.  Walking into the house, I saw my daughter for the first time in over a week.  She ran right past me and knelt, giving Ginger a hug.  Classic… 
The Gaul Household
The movers arrived a few days early and everything went very smoothly from that standpoint.  However, not everything was packed before they arrived.  Looks like one more trip to Chicago is in store - to finish packing and driving it back to Maine.  Hopefully, someone will buy the washer/dryer, refrigerator or stove while we're back there!
Since then, things have been going well.  Each morning, I’ve been going to the YMCA in the morning, playing in the swimming pool and then showering there.  My work hours are 9am-6pm EST, so I have plenty of time in the morning.  By the time I finish work, dinner is just about ready.  Sounds ideal!
As far as the rest of my life, things are slowly falling into place.  Most importantly, Ciara seems very, very happy and has completely adjusted without incident.  Our new home is well over 200 years old - and haunted by several ghosts.  No one has told this to Ciara, but Ciara has already made friends with them.  Her first night here, she was reading a story in bed, and sensed them there, listening to her.  Earlier this week, she told me that the ghosts in the other room don't like it when we talk too loud.  Creepy!

This pretty much sums up the past month and now its time for you to help me.  I’d like to request any feedback anyone still reading this might have…as I’m not sure about what people are interested in.  Reply here or on Facebook.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Decluttering... (Part 1)

One of the opportunities that has arisen out of this move is a chance to declutter my possessions, and in some ways, my life.  That's the mantra I'm going with for the next few weeks - concentrating on removing 1/2 started hobbies and selling many of my unused possessions.

To that end, we held a garage sale on Thursday-Friday of this week.  Why on Thursday/Friday?  Why not on Saturday/Sunday?  Apparently, Thursday is the best day to hold garage sales.  It's hard to argue with the results.  On Thursday, without any noticeable reduction in "inventory", we made over $400.  Friday came in around $250.  This was the precursor to the big garage sale...since it was too hard to organize everything in time to hold it.  In other words, we needed to sell stuff to make room to sell our stuff!

I don't want to shill for myself, but I will (briefly).  We have some bigger items (TV stand, DVD cabinet, stereo stand, leather couch, grill, possibly heavy wrought-iron patio furniture), stereo equipment (headlined by a Denon receiver and 5 Klipsch speakers) and a LOT of girl's baby clothes to sell.  If you're interested, stop by, call or email. :)  Mention the blog and get a discount! 

We've also donated a bunch of items that wouldn't sell well at a garage sale to Goodwill.  I was amazed at how easy a process it was - I literally pulled around to the side of the building, where there's a covered drop-off spot - and opened the back door of the minivan.  A worker there handed me the donation form (for tax purposes) and a voucher for 2 Rascall Flatts tickets (given away at work).  He then carried in the bags while I unloaded them, and I suspect I wouldn't even have had to do that much!  Congrats, Goodwill, on a smooth and efficient process.  Of course, now that I write that, and have to repeat it again today, I'm assuring myself that it won't be nearly as easy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quick Introduction

So, for years, I've fought the whole blogging urge.  I know a few people who blog, and who enjoy it - but that wasn't for me.  However, since my life is about to completely change - even more than when my daughter was born - I thought I'd give it a try.

For those of you that don't know, I'm currently 42 years old and have lived in the Chicago suburbs my entire life, and have never really thought about leaving.  In about 6 weeks, my family is moving to southern Maine.

This is not due to a job relocation; but rather for personal/family reasons.  My wife's family is all in that area and she needs to be back there with them.  It should also be good for my daughter - growing up with more family support and cousins to play with.  How will it work out for me?  Well, we'll explore that in later posts!

Luckily for me, my company is being super cool about this and allowing me to work from home (at least until the end of 2011).  Hopefully in November/December, we can have further discussions about it and continue the same arrangement - or I'll start looking for a new job!