Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Chance to Brag About Scott

Normally I brag about the kids.  It is what we moms like to do, at least when we aren't too exhausted by raising them. Tonight, it is time to brag a little about Scott without any fear of getting getting " Gordon Gekko'd, " Remember, the movie Wall Street?  Now, it is public, and now I can talk.

Today, Cisco announced it was buying Sourcefire, the Baltimore, MD based Internet Security (anti-hacking) company to the tune of a $2.7 billion.  That company, that product line, that stuff, is all Scott's product line.  He has been in on the deal since day one. In order to keep the deal under wraps only a few people were working on the acquisition. 

So while, it has made for quite a challenge for settling here in California.  Oh, the irony that after 6 straight months of traveling from Raleigh to California, without a single East Coast trip, now Scott has been traveling nearly weekly from California to the East Coast.  BUT, it has been one heck of an opportunity. One, amazing GIANT opportunity, that has come with plenty of work too. And today, that work paid off, with a public announcement in Baltimore, with Cisco CEO John Chambers there for the announcement along with lots and lots of press coverage. 


Tonight, Scott is on a plane back to California.  We are hoping to move into our home soon-ish.  But, like the willow tree, we are flexible.  We have our temp housing until the end of August.  So there is no rush.  I am using the time to make our home a little more "comfortable."  If we didn't own the home, I would need to be licensed as a general contractor to be managing this many subcontractors.  Just this week, there were roof, paint, floor, plumbing, landscape, and debris clearing teams involved.  Comfort is a loose term here in California.  North Carolina might say habitable.  Either way our furniture is there, the utilities are on, and our bills (no surprise) are being delivered, so some things feel like home, even if we don't actually live there yet. 

That is life in the Stroller Lane. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Do You Believe In Luck? We Bought a House!!!


You may believe in luck.  You may not.  Despite the trials and tribulations on the all little things of moving (and yes, I have griped about many), on the big things, well, things have sure been falling into place for The Clan Harrell since we arrived in California.

  • Day One in California found a house. 
  • Went into contract in Cali the EXACT day our Cary house closed.
  • Closed our Cali house EXACTLY one month after our first day here.
  • Girls are officially registered in the local school - Sarah got the last slot in 4th grade.
  • Mick's officially registered in preschool - just 1 mile from the house.
  •  I survived 3 hours at the DMV with a 3-year old in tow (that is very lucky indeed).  For all my Ga Tech friends, I even got "Word" for Scott on the license test - that sucker is really tough out here - no joke. 
So now, it is time to make our house a home.  They are tenting for termites this week, and the movers are arriving with all our stuff next week.  Scott is traveling and buried at work right now.  And managing the arrival of all the boxes wasn't a project I could manage by myself.  Scott's mom is flying in, because, that is what mom's do - they rescue their kids when they need help, no matter how old they are.  My mom wanted to come help too, but she is on the injured reserve list for a couple of weeks.  She even offered to come, against doctor's orders, because that is what mom's do.  But, we figured we had it covered with Jan's help and are going to get Shirley's help in September.  So with all the great timing, the support from friends, and the amazing love from family, I am definitely siding with those who believe in luck.  Because I sure am feeling lucky today. 

That is life in the stroller lane. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Funny Stories from the Moving Lane

There is a reason why moving ranks #3 on those life's most stressful events tests (after the real big ones - death and divorce).  Moving ain't easy.  We have been in California exactly one month, in that time we could fill an entire season of America's Funniest Home Videos.  For your laughing pleasure. 



  • Tales of Getting Lost - Over and Over and Over Again
    • I have cried, cursed, and gotten lost on every major highway in Santa Clara County - of which there are many and they are all under construction.  Like a house cat, I eventually find my way home.  
    • I truly believe that Siri, Wazes, and every other GPS App are all a little evil.  I envision them laughing in cyberspace as they direct me via the most asinine route ("in 500 feet turn left into the wall and proceed over the cliff") simply because I don't know any better.  Sometimes those asinine routes unearth some wonderful treasures, like the day we accidentally found San Jose's best ice cream shop and our new favorite flavors "The 408" and "Eastside Horchata." .
    • Good news, I am finally getting a handle on where we live right now.  Bad news, it is time to move out of temp housing and relocate to an entirely different city and start over again. Good news, I told Scott I'm never moving again, so this is the last time I'm going to have to do this!!!
  • How Can Filling One Prescription Be This Hard
    • I brought a simple prescription to the pharmacy to be filled.  The pharmacist announced quite loudly that it was "ILLEGAL!"  What did she think?  Did I have a a meth lab disguised as a prescription written by a board certified American doctor who just happened to not be from California.  The prescription may not have been valid, but I don't think the San Jose police were ready to cart me off to prison.  
    • Two days later at a local doctor's offers for the same said prescription .  The doctor said all we needed to do was change our diet we didn't need medication, but funny thing was the doctor never asked me what we were eating to begin with.  She refused to even call our doctor in NC or look at hand carried documents verifying everything is legit.  Now I'm getting pissed.
    • New idea.  Overnight the prescription back to NC and have my mom fill the prescription and overnight it back to CA.  UPS looses the package for 24 hours (and also refused to refund the $50 in shipping costs).  Good news, the medicine arrived, just in the nick of time, we had used the final pill the very morning the package arrived.  
    • I now have a new doctor in our new town and a new prescription written legally in California, so this problem will not (hopefully) ever happen again. 
  • Taking the Cat for A Walk and Other Stories
    • Our cat Buford is an indoor-outdoor cat, and hence is not going to change his behavior because our our new apartment's indoor-cat rules.  For the first two weeks we were here, we tried to keep him inside, we really did.  He nearly drove us all crazy, with his ceaseless meowing at all hours of the day and night.  And then we decided finally to let him out.   So now, we take him out for a nightly walk - though he absolutely won't wear a leash - he is a cat after all.  So he walks and we follow.  And if we loose sight of him, well, he eventually comes back and we hope the apartment police don't call. 
    • Where is the jelly?  I can't seem to find the jelly or pretty much anything in the local grocery stores.  You know how it is, you know where everything is in "your" store.  But, go to a new store, and you can't find anything.  The milk, what aisle?  The bread, who knows?  The eggs, probably still in the hen house.  So I wander up and down every aisle a couple of times and fill the buggy until it looks full enough to check out - then I head home and hope I can conjure up dinner from what I did find at the store. 
And the list goes on and on.  From the missed turns to the mispronunciations, I am fumbling and bumbling my way through this move.  Tomorrow, we officially close on our house.  While that is a really big event, what makes it a really big a day is that I'm braving the DMV.   Time to face the lines and the fees and get a new driver's license for me and tags for the car.  I'm sure I will have many new stories to tell after that visit - that is, of course, if Siri doesn't get me too lost and I actually make it there.

That is life in the Stroller (and Moving) Lane.