On the way down to TX in the first 100 miles the trailer our car was on got a flat and we had to call a pit crew to fix it which knocked us off schedule for the rest of the trip. Shortly after we made it back on the road the apartment building office of the new place called to say that someone had driven a car into out building and wanted to apologize for all the noise and let us know they would be fixing it this week. We stayed the night in a Howard Johnson's where I shared a bed with the dog to make sure she didn't get up without me in the middle of the night especially since I didn't tell the front desk clerk we brought her and the next day we drove and sang and finished the trip home to the freshly smashed up apartment.
We unpacked the first three fourths of the truck on the first day and I worried the furniture wouldn't fit but as I began to unpack boxes and find homes for things I relaxed. On day two we were able to get Ella's bedroom set up and the truck emptied and made a giant trip to the dumpster where we threw most of our emptied boxes along with the moving truck keys into the compactor. On day three Dan went back to work, I cooked a lovely dinner and things felt a little normal until we had to tear the apartment apart looking for the moving truck keys. Eventually I called the emergency road side number and they hooked me up with a fella an hour away who would make new keys for me at no charge as long as I picked them up and while I was at it I decided to stop and get some very scrumptious Shipley's cinnamon rolls for him in hope of banking some good karma.
After returning to the apartment with the new key and then spending another hour and a half returning the moving truck we arrived back at the apartment to find a small line of tiny red ants marching into the living room and attacking a lone bit of potato chip on the carpet. Dan and I vacuumed them up and wondered if these were the fire ants we'd heard so much about. Dan had a bowl of cereal on the couch and we went to bed. On day four at about 6am, before Dan left for work, I asked him to please bring the dog out for a walk as we have been dutifully re-housebreaking her in the off white carpeted apartment and we'd been doing well. Dan lifted his shirt from the night before off the floor, slipped it on and put the dog on a leash. I stepped into the bathroom in my underwear and thought about making a little cappuccino for the two of us while Ella still slept.
At approximately 6:01am Dan whipped his shirt off and ran to the shower, the fire ants that had enjoyed the cereal bits left in his shirt the night before also enjoyed all giving the signal to bite Dan all at once delivering a fiery 30 or so tiny blisters to his torso by the end of the day. The shirt sat on the back patio until yesterday at which time I shook it out and promptly put it in a wash load of very hot water and towels. the exterminator arrived the same day upon my insistence with the main office who wanted to send him on the regular Monday but re-thought it when I told them I had a child and a small dog and a living room full of fire ants. I also bought a can of poison that I liberally sprayed all over the place I'm sure ingesting enough to piss fire ant killer. For the next few nights I made sure to turn on the flash light and check the perimeter of the bed before falling asleep. Apparently new construction kicks them up out of the ground and makes them angry and of course we live in the newest building. The exterminator will be here every Monday for the next three weeks.
Finally things are settling down, though the dog is having a terrible time. I tried to crate her in the kitchen and she's torn herself up biting at the cage and trying to dig her way out. I tried a different crate and then washed the other and still she makes a mess and hurts herself. Yesterday I called a local vet in frustration wondering what to do and was referred to a doggie shrink. One of the perks of living in a big city is the availability of Dog Psychiatry. A very dear women named Connie talked to me and insisted I trash the crate and trust the dog, before as a last resort putting her on doggie prosac. I am trying to trust the dog but it's off white carpet. I installed a gate so she is locked in the kitchen with a pillow begrudgingly sacrificed from my own bed but today after pool time with kiddo I arrived to see the dog greet me wagging at the door and the gate laying on the floor. I am still hesitant to leave her out and will continue to try the gate however if there are no messes on the carpet at the end of one month I will trust her.
Tonight I have one big project left, hanging art on these off white walls. Dan will be home soon and we'll set to work making this place our home with family photos and paintings at which time I'll finally take some photos for the blog and get them all posted so you can see what a wonderful place Dan picked out. On Saturday night, Dan's birthday, after dinner and a movie, we drove down to the coast and looked out into the ocean, though it was dark and we couldn't see much. Galveston looks steeped in history and old buildings as well as rich in culture and the beach is only twenty minutes from us. My favorite was the sign we passed just before arriving in Galveston reading "Welcome to the Village of Tiki Island" yes, it's a real place. On Sunday because it was Father's Day we drive around Houston and found two war game shops Dan will frequent. Again I am astonished by the construction of 6 story highways with steep climbs and turns. It's like downtown Milwaukee gone amok.
Yes, it's hot. Today it's up to 97 with a heat index of 105 however the ocean breeze cools the sweat on your brow so fast that when in the shade one barely notices the heat. We also have a pool, we've been there every day this week and as soon as I resolve my issues with the dog and stop jumping anytime I feel something crawling on my leg and we all feel comfortable and home Ella and I will venture down to the coast some morning and dip our toes in the warm gulf waters and build sandcastles for a few hours.
Below: Gateway to the West, Houston Highways, Our Driveway, Ella & I in the Pool