February 9, 2014: Unpacking Day and Star Wars

Today is our big unpacking day. Not that a lot has not been done already this week but the living room was still a forest of boxes this morning and the upstairs hallway was impassable between the old queen mattress and the load of cardboard still in the hallway. We slept in a little and when Dominica and I got up we set about to a full day of serious unpacking. We were energized and ready for the task before us.

I would venture to say that today was the most productive unpacking day that Dominica and I have ever had. There was so much to be done and we tore through the pile of boxes like nobody’s business. I moved nearly all of the boxes of books down to the basement. That alone was a lot of exercise. We opened nearly all of the boxes and learned where everything was. Much of what we were searching for we were able to locate. We are missing very little at this point. The one really big item that we know has gone missing, and we knew this while still in Texas, is my black camera bag that, sadly, has one of my lenses in it and the remote for the camera and, possibly, the GPS unit for it. It is a major loss as it was a really nice bag as well. We have no idea where it might have gone. It went missing not long before we started packing in Texas and our only guess is that somehow it got moved out to the garage and then, accidentally, packed into a box and taken up to the attic. We have come up with no other theory for its timing of disappearance and everyone has been on the lookout for it starting a bit before the packing began there.

We tracked down the Netgear ReadyNAS that we use in the house for our movie and music collection. We have been hoping to find that soon. That is one of the major pieces of technology that we use around the house. We have been using the Synology-based IOSafe for a while but that is going to move to the Ralstons’ soon now that we have the smaller ReadyNAS available for use at the house. We have hundreds of movies ready to go on our ReadyNAS and, from time to time, like to make use of them as there are many more awesome movies there than there are on services like Netflix. With the girls getting older we want them to have access to more really good media so having that is important. I think that really soon I am going to need to acquire larger drives for the ReadyNAS. I can’t remember how much storage it has, either two or three terabytes, which would be pretty amazing considering how old that unit is. Three terabytes is still very large for a drive purchased today. I hope to upgrade it to six terabyte drives soon because we use so much storage in the house.

We must have gone through half of all of the boxes. The house was totally transformed. Liesl and Luciana went down to the basement early in the morning and set up camp there. They have the room just full of toys, as they usually do, but are just crazy excited about the new boxes of toys that get delivered down from time to time. It is like Christmas for them. They keep finding things that they have not seen in months. They are having a grand time. Liesl was trapped in the basement for much of the morning because her skin got dry and her baby toe split open on her. I put on Neosporin and a bandage and she sat on the black couch in the basement for many hours playing with toys there. She had me bring her a newly discovered box of toys and set it at her feet so that she could explore it without getting up.

So the girls were great about being out of the way today. They did very well. Later on in the day the two of them came upstairs and played games hiding in amongst the boxes.

We got enough moved around that we were able to move the side board table over to where it is going to go in front of the white couch. That allowed us to start using both it and the television stand upon which it had been setting since first we unloaded the truck.

Dominica did tons of work in the kitchen. She reorganized everything and packed up things that we know that we will not use in this house and got them ready for attic storage.

After a full day of serious work we decided to take a break, hook up the ReadyNAS and finally let the girls watch Star Wars which Liesl has been looking forward to seeing for a while. Everyone was very excited about that. They settled in to start watching it and I took the opportunity of a quiet house to move the cedar chest up to our bedroom, another major unpacking win.

The girls both loved Star Wars. They thought that it was great fun. Liesl is just barely the age that I was when I first saw it too, I believe. She might be one year older, I am not sure. I know that by age six I had watched it twenty-four times! Liesl struggled to follow the story some but overall did pretty well.

After the movie Dominica and I decided to move the big, corner desk up to our bedroom and assemble that. We have been trying to figure out what to do both about the desks that we have and about what to do with the space in our bedroom for a while. But it has become apparent that having the basement as the only serious work space is not going to work at all. I need a means of escaping when I need to work and the basement is the movie area and the girls’ primary play space. So having that be where I can go to work conflicts with the general usage of the house. And not having another work area is a waste of the resources that we own too since I have a very nice desktop computer and a pair of excellent monitors that, if not used there, will simply go to waste. So we gave up on trying to keep a computer out of our bedroom and are putting my desktop there and leaving Dominica’s down in the basement. For the moment I will only have wireless access up in our bedroom but hopefully soon we can run some wiring and have CAT5e run up there too. The house needs updating with new wiring anyway just to modernize it.

We talked about it and we think that, once the bedroom computer is set up, we might add a television in our bedroom since all of the electronics to support it will already be installed there and in the perfect place for a television too. We might as well take advantage of the situation rather than ignore the possibility. It is just too easy to install it once everything else is done. My computer will have the speakers there already as well. So really ideal.

By the end of the night both bedrooms were in great shape. The girls’ dressers were in place and their closet cleaned up. Our room is nearly ready, although the electronics have not been brought up yet. The house is really coming together. It is starting to feel like we really live here and we can see the possibilities once again. It has been a rough four months, to be sure.

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