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Monday, March 5, 2012

In the Pot, Nine Days Old

I’ve been in the pot, er, the tri-cities area for nine days. The cities, so to speak, are are Richland, Kennewick and Pasco. We live in Richland, almost at the West Richland border (West Ricland is not considered a fourth city so it is not the quadri-city area), and we had to drive over to Pasco for church yesterday. It took twelve minutes, and one of those minutes was taken up with us looking for correct street names. The tri-cities is the pot I’ll cook in for the next 10 months, and, I’ll tell you, I’m missing my rut. I’ve chronicled below what I’ve done for nine days since my plane landed. Truthfully it adds up to running around, but if you want all the gory details, they’re chronicled below. Oh, there’re pictures, too.

Nine days ago, I flew across country with my life packed in 2 large suitcases (yes, a small sewing machine was in one of them). Steve picked me up at the airport and took me back to the hotel where we had dinner. Since you know I don’t like to omit reporting a meal, I can tell you that I had fish and chips with fresh Alaskan cod, a light batter, a delicate fillet.

Eight days ago, Steve took me to our apartment.  We brought our large suitcases with us and unpacked a bit and did laundry, a good thing for all. We went to Target, T.J. Maxx and Bed, Bath and Beyond (the staff of all of which are now on a first name basis with me) and bought the equipment of everyday life. (Target carries a very pretty line of Italianate-Mexican plastic-ware.)  We ran up and down the aisles of Albertson’s Supermarket where we dropped another bundle to stock the refrigerator. We were down approximately 1K. Ouch.  I was so exhausted, I was really glad we'd opted to spend another night at the hotel with their buffet breakfast.

One week ago, we moved in. Come six o’clock, I found the oven an enigma, so we tried the wings place down Gage Blvd. My computer crashed causing much moaning and tearing of hair. Steve again excelled at finding an apartment. You come straight in off the street (important when you’re carrying a week’s worth of groceries), but the back becomes the second story over a stretch of wetlands where a mob of magpies reigns. 

Six days ago, after dropping Steve off at work at 7:00 am (yes, freaking 7:00 AM!), I tried the Safeway in Richland proper and picked up a few more things plus some flowers to brighten us up.  I stopped at the apartment office and learned how to use the oven. (Push Start, you dummy; the timer is counting down the minutes until it’s warmed up.] I also found the route to Best Buy and entrusted my Vaio to Justin. On the way home, I visited T.J. Maxx (again), and bought a pale purple vase so we don’t continue staring at white on white on white walls. I mean, the electric fireplace helps alleviate the institutional feel, but still, it’s a lot of white.On the way to pick Steve up, I checked out the Big Lots and got a really good Hamilton-Beach iron for $18. I am feeling very thrifty for someone who’s just spent a ton of money. Taking Steve to work at freaking 6:40 every morning and picking him up at 4:30 is a bit wearing.

Five days ago, I took Steve to work and tried out the WinCo which is a lot like Shoppers Food Warehouse at home but with an enormous bulk food section. It is possible to buy two teaspoons of cilantro which means that stocking up on spices won’t cost us Steve’s entire first paycheck. (It is not, however, possible to buy bulk ground cloves.  One wonders why.)  I, god help me, cleaned. It’s a lot easier and faster when you don’t have anything to pick up and dust under.

Four days ago I discovered a beauty school 1/2 mile from the apartment. Score! I got my hair cut and blown dry for $8.00. The student who cut it did a good, if painstaking, job. They offer $17 facials there, $6.00 manicures and $10 pedicures. I expect to become quite beautiful while I live here. Coming home from work, we found a little thrift shop and were able to get a broiler pan ($3.00) and a soup ladle ($1.50). Feeling quite thrifty.

Three days ago, I left early to so before I retrieved Steve, I could stop at the Richland Ballet Academy. They offer one adult ballet class. It’s a beginners’ class but will offer a good opportunity for me to focus on the basics. Unfortunately it is given from 7:00 to 8:00 at night, but you can’t have everything. We came home from work and I turned around and went back to the class. Sadly, because the class is at night, the people who take it flee as soon as it’s over. Although everyone seems very pleasant, I don’t think I’ll get any friends there.

Two days ago was Steve’s every-other-Friday-off. We took care of a bunch of business stuff. It was David’s birthday. Happy Birthday, David! I retrieved my computer from Best Buy. I almost did an entire post on how dependent I’ve become on my computer, especially in a new and distant land, but the topic was too depressing to contemplate.

Yesterday we drove to the local wine country and tasted at two wineries, drove up to the Yakima Cultural Museum (and restaurant where we ordered Muk-Leek, a native sort of salmon stew over dumplings with fry bread, at the restaurant there. We like it, but it emphasizes the theory that foods from hot countries are spicier than foods from cold ones. On the way home stopped at a really nice quilting store a couple of miles from the apartment where I got fabric for my pussycat quilt. They have a workshop and classes of which I will partake. Friends in sight?

This morning we went to the UU church. The first Sunday of each month, they hold a soup-er Sunday where a lunch of soup is offered after the service. That was really nice because it gave us an opportunity to chat with people. I signed up for the Women’s Lunch the first Tuesday of each month, which is Tuesday.

As I said, it was nine days of running around, really, like a chicken with its head cut off. I do feel, though, like I’m getting my feet under me. You know, my finely pedicured feet.

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