But glory be, the movers got here right before Thanksgiving and I am connected again, hallelujah. I was beginning to suffer withdrawal pains.

I made the connection in Phoenix okay, and arrived at the house around midnight -- which was 3 a.m. Pittsburgh time. I was pretty much wiped out, but the cats just seemed bored by the whole experience. They've adjusted faster than I have. But I must say I enjoyed the first leg of my flight more than any other plane trip I've taken. The reason was that for the first time in two months, I didn't have any physical labor to perform. All I had to do was sit there and read. Heavenly. This move has been strenuous for me, but there's been one unexpected benefit: I've lost 18 pounds.

Food costs more here; items I bought regularly in Pittsburgh are a fourth to a third more in California. Biggest culture shock: garbage collection. One container per household per week. That's a county law. If you have more than that, you have to hire someone to haul it away to the dump. Then you have to pay a dumping fee. And here I have an absolute mountain of empty boxes out on the patio. Oy.

Anyway, I'm settling in. Not all the unpacking is done yet, but I'm getting there.