Week Two in Mt. Lebanon

It's my second week here at our new house in Pittsburgh, PA on Roycroft Avenue, and much has changed. Perhaps the best part (for me) is that I'm no longer sleeping on the floor (as I did the first days here). No, the best part for me is that we're now cooking and eating at home. No, the best part for me is how much my five-year-old son Steven loves it here.

Well, OK, there are a lot of "best parts for me." Like the fact that this place is ours, and it's coming together into a wonderfully livable place. What a house! We're all so grateful to be here and excited to help make it everything it can be - and that we want it to be.

Watering the lawn first thing every morning is cool. Installing the microwave (hanging from the cupboards since we have so little counter space) and building Ikea furniture is great. Organizing the basement - urg - well, ok - there's some things that are getting to be tiring about having just too much stuff.

I've got my wireless network running through the house so there are no unsightly wires from the downstairs to my office - and the laptop works on the back deck, too. The weather's cooled down so I can actually do that occasionally now. (I still have to set up the dynamic DNS so that I can address my home machines by name.)

Perhaps this week we'll re-build our bicycles which had their wheels, pedals and handlebars removed for packing. I can't wait to start exploring the neighborhood via bike! (So far it seems most of my exploring has been confined to Home Depot and Ikea...)

Today we opened a local bank account and I installed two dimmer switches in the family room, tomorrow my cool desk chair arrives (yea!), Wednesday we apply for new licenses and car registration and (we hope) Gary the painter finishes the indoor trim, Thursday we put out the trash along with all our weeds and yard trimmings and Friday Bill comes to fix the piano leg.

I'll tell you one thing: after each very full day, we sleep really well! We've created a list of about 50 more things we have to do soon - like treat the wood on the back deck before the winter and trim some dangerously long branches from our big Oak & Maple trees - so I think we'll be sleeping well for some time in the future. ;-)

Hope you're having as much fun as we are.

Update: a bit more on where we are from Elaine, July 24th

we are six miles south of downtown Pittsburgh but it feels like a world away -- central Pittsburgh is ringed by countless townships and municipalities, little districts, as it were, that each have their own vibe and character. ours, Mt. Lebanon, is known as the "walking community" because there are sidewalks everywhere, it's filled with old bricK houses and the schools are great. it's also very green here -- already in our back yard, we've seen deer, wild turkey, rabbits and squirrels! probably helps that we have five mature trees in the back yard, among them oak and maple. the yard slopes down from the house to the back yard and is flat at the bottom. Steven goes outside to play, front or back, and it's a-okay, I don't need to watch him -- we live on a dead-end street with not much traffic (talk about a change from the corner of California and Gough! amazing.).

the neighbors have been great, in the first week they stopped by with pies (really) and potted plants and lists of contractors they use (a lifesaver -- we found our lawn guy this way and he's great). Steven is in his second week of summer camp (AM camp) and loves it, and it gives me some time to do, oh, a million little things. camp runs through next week. we joined the local pool and have swum there several afternoons (the pool is twice the size of Marinwood and half the price, water slide included). if we're not swimming, I'm dragging Steven around to assorted stores in search of furniture, tho we have found time to visit the children's museum and science center.

while the move feels oh so right so far, I really miss having friends close at hand. I've been too busy to feel too lonely but I look forward to meeting other moms and having gal pals to hang with. it's an important thing. as to the house, our only complaint, and not a huge one at that, is that it's not air-conditioned. luckily, it hasn't been terribly hot so far (but it's not August yet) so it hasn't been too bad, and we even need a blanket at night as the temps are in the 50s or 60s. so we may hold off on A/C till next summer. and we may not have time to get a grill and outdoor table for the deck this summer as we're not sure we'd have time to enjoy it. we'll see. our interior painter, bless his heart, still has about two more days of work here and then the place will be completely done. can't wait! a half-done paint job def doesn't work for the Virgo in me. ;-) another fun thing: I seem so energized by the morning light and greenery that I've gotten up almost every day at 7 a.m. and gone running! I haven't run this much in months. it feels great, and many mornings, Steven and Fen are still sleeping when I get back around 8 a.m. feels nice. oh, and I LOVE having my bedroom back after sharing a bedroom with Steven all these years -- Steven also took to his bedroom and bunk beds from day one and never took issue with the new world order.


Hi, Fen and Elaine --I was

Hi, Fen and Elaine --I was looking for a quotation from Madison that Thom Hartmann read last night when he spoke at Demos in NYC. (He was speaking about his new book, BREAKING THE CODE.) You had a similar one, but not the correct one. Still, I appreciated a quick look at all the insight you provided, including your peace quotations. Thanks for sharing!!

Hope your move has gone well and that you are happy in Pittsburgh. (area). It was rated best US city several years back -- and it is one of my faves though I haven't been there in years. Keep the faith, thanks for your links, and -- Peace hugs!