Better Crypts and Gardens: Gothic Nesting

Gothic Nesting: A Life in Boxes

Phase One: Books and More Book

Hello, my lovely readers! Hello! Good grief, what a busy two months it’s been! Since the last time I wrote, I’ve been to two conferences — one in Roanoke, VA (giving a paper) and one in Atlantic City, NJ — and I’ve been pulling 10-15 hour work days, six days a week. When I told Texas A&M that I’d teach two on-line classes I had absolutely no idea how much work it would take to build on-line classes from scratch. Keep in mind, I’m recording 30-60 minute lectures for both classes in addition to curating information, creating meaningful discussion topics, writing tests, answering questions, and grading. I still can’t figure out how to edit my videos and QuickTime voiceovers, so sometime in September I thought it would be “easier” for me to write scripts for the lectures. HAHAHAHA! Easier my ass! Gawds, the whole process took forever!!! But, I did learn a lot about on-line learning environments and my own teaching process, so win-win on that front. Thankfully, this Wednesday is my last official day of teaching and all that’s left to do is grade. I have two weeks to get my final grades in, so I should be in good shape.

Phase One: The Books Continue. Oy.

Speaking of Texas, I need to be on campus this January and that means we’re in the middle of packing insanity. Yes, yet another “Gothic Nesting!” HA! The POD is coming this Thursday and will be picked up next Monday, which means everything needs to be packed and loaded this weekend. As you can see from the above photos, the books were packed first … and that’s when we learned that this apartment is much smaller than we thought. We aren’t taking all of our furniture with us, so whatever isn’t going is being put to the curb to make room for boxes.

Bubble wrapping crystal

When the POD leaves on Monday, we’ll only have the two chairs, a side table or two, a folding table and two folding chairs, an air-mattress with our sleeping bags, coffee maker, borrowed dishes and cookware, and some clothing left in the apartment. We’ll be living a very spartan lifestyle for two weeks, that’s for sure. We’re leaving on December 26 and should be in Bryan-College Station on December 28. Yes, we’re driving down with the cat and the dog. Goddess help us.

IMG_1959As for me, I’m doing … okay. I’m not feeling fabulous, but I’m also not horrible. I’m quite exhausted and I’m dealing with a damned ear infection and sore throat. I took this weekend to pack, to do some necessary food shopping, and to sleep in. Hell, I slept in this morning because I just don’t feel 100%. I can’t get sick right now, so it’s best I rest up a bit. I should be grading, but today is slated for more packing. Tomorrow will be a grading marathon that’s for sure!

In other Franny news, it’s official: I’ve gained back all of the weight I lost on Bat Fit. sigh … so that means there will be some important life changes once we get to Texas. I’ve been sitting at my desk 10-15 hours a day, six days a week. I haven’t exercised since July and my portions are out of control … not to mention how much wine and beer I’ve been drinking. Bat Fit 2017 will definitely include losing 45 pounds by my 45th birthday in June! It will bring me back down to a healthy 195 lbs. Of course I’ll blog more about this in the next few weeks. And yes, I’ll be launching a Bat Fit 2017 week long kick off the first week of January! HELL YEAH!!! Stay tuned.


Ed seems to be doing much better than I have been. He’s been “working out” — doing chin ups using the landing over our stairs and carrying book boxes up and down the stairs to “get ready for the move.” No, I’m not kidding. He’s wrapping up his commute to Long Island and will be setting up his home office in Texas when we get there. I think he’s pretty excited not to have to drive to Long Island from Staten Island — a 2+ hour commute one way. AND he’s really excited to have his own office space at home again. We don’t have to share an office in our new place and we’re both very happy about that. He can be as loud and as geeky as he wants … and that’s a good thing! He’s really looking forward to exploring Texas. Most of all, he’s really looking forward to a winter that’s mild and doesn’t require him to break his back shoveling snow.

Towers and towers of boxes!


As for the kids, Pumpkin has been dealing with his own health problems. In the last two months, his allergies have gotten so bad that his yeasty ears were almost impossible to keep clean and he had hot spots under one “arm pit” and under his chin. He licked the spots raw and then then got infected. The poor kid needed to wear his cone everyday, all day, especially after I put his medicine on. Everything is now cleared up and he has an appointment with the groomer for one last “spa day” before we head down to Texas. He doesn’t know what’s going on with all the boxes! He’s been very needy lately and wants to be glued to us every chance he gets. Poor guy.


Moo, however, is Moo. We have her on a new diet and she’s lost a ton of weight. And that means she’s super energetic and spritely … and getting into all sorts of trouble. The boxes, bubble wrap, and paper have been an endless source of entertainment for her. Unlike her brother, she doesn’t seemed fazed by the packing and sees it as an opportunity to climb on boxes, run around the apartment, and cause mayhem. Cats.

We just bought Moo a medium-sized dog carrier for the trip. It will fit a good sized litter pan and the kitty very comfortably. We’ve never traveled a long distance with her, so this should be an experience.

This week I’m going to be in pack, grade, pack, grade, pack and more pack mode. Once the POD is packed and picked up, I’ll finish my grading and can then focus on doing my research, meeting up with friends, and seeing all of the holiday sights before our big move. And that means I’ll be back to my regular schedule of writing/researching, teaching, blogging, sewing/knitting, working out, etc. WAHOO! I can’t wait!!!

And speaking of holidays, I want to thank Sarah over at Tales from a Geordie Goth for kindly hosting a Holiday blogging party in my absence. Obviously, it’s impossible for me to host Gothidays 2016 this year and Sarah stepped in. THANK YOU!!! Hopefully, I’ll be able to do a holiday post or two during this month. After all, I will be taking in all of the holiday sights around the city before we leave! YAY!!!

10 thoughts on “Gothic Nesting: A Life in Boxes”

  1. Wow, Franny whrn you take a challenge by the gods do you take on a challenge. It sounds like you’ve had an amazingly busy time. Moving over to oppisite part of the country and driving wow. I’m assume that would be the same distance as going to either spain or Hungry from where I live. Anyway, I wish you a safe journey and look forward to reading your blog once more.

    When your mentioned about Ed having a separate office I can understand the issues with space we’ve just moved from 2 bedroom flat to a 3 bedroom house with ample spaces its feels strange. My partner is happy to have the option to work from home. It sounds great about Ed saving all that time from commuting.

    I’m glad your happy with me substituting with the Christmas blog posts.


    1. It’s been CRAZY! It’s a 1,600 miles, 2574.95 km, drive. It will be nice though since we’re driving between Christmas and New Years. Sure, it’ll be busy on the road … maybe congested … but we plan to stop in Knoxville, TN and Texarkana, TX. I’m hoping that the towns are done up for the holidays. 🙂 Yes, it has been quite a challenge!

      We need our own space. He’s a loud talker and he’s always on meetings. I’d like a room of my own where I can close my door, put some music on, and get to work. I’m really looking forward to it … and the fact that we’ll both have our own bathrooms! YAY!


  2. Wondering what it is with SO many bloggers I follow moving these days o_O I hope that you will feel at home in your new place as soon as I did in mine… and REALLY looking forwards to the new batfit because god damn, I gained so much weight, no exercise as well and ‘moving houses eating habits’… Best of luck moving!


    1. Well, I got a full time teaching gig so that’s why I’m moving. I have no choice in the matter. 🙂 I can’t wait to be in Texas already! It’s going to be a little while before we feel comfortable because I’m moving with no furniture! Can you imagine? We couldn’t fit it into the POD (moving/storage container).

      My weight and strength SUCK big time. I need to get it together this year … I’m getting to “that age” that my health can spiral out-of-control and get serious. We have diabetes in the family and folks usually get it around my age 45-50. Oy.


  3. I love hearing about what is happening with your little family! Poor Pumpkin with his heat spots! And I am glad Moo’s diet is going well! I bet Ed will enjoy his own space!

    I have had ear infections, they are awful! Take care of yourself!


  4. I don’t know how I missed commenting on this post, I had so many things to say! 🙂
    First, I hope both you and Pumpkin are feeling a bit better now.
    I love little (big) Moo, she’s such a darling! I can imagine the boxes and wrapping are just cat heaven.
    Seems alot of us have gotten into a body rut this year, just another crappy thing about 2016 I guess 😦
    Here’s hoping 2017 will be better!


    1. It’s ok — I’ve been posting so randomly and it’s easy to miss posts. Once I get back onto a schedule things will be easier to determine.

      Pumpkin is much better, though he’s been licking again after seeing the groomer. I swear they use a shampoo that irritates his skin! He’s getting a medicated bath (tea tree oil and oatmeal) this weekend, so hopefully he’ll feel better.

      Moo has been head-over-heels happy with this move! She’s like “Jungle Kitty” with all of the boxes!

      So mote it be! May 2017 be MUCH better on all fronts.


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