Monday, July 26, 2010

Adendum to Murphy's Law

The day after your family and friends get together and help you move that &($^%&** piano that you promised them they would never have to move again, you will receive no less than 10 inquiries regarding your advertisement of a Free Piano.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

OMG houses are expensive

Went to Lowe's over the lunch break. Then went into shock when I saw the bill...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

I love my new house. I especially like that it's mine.

But night before last, I was talking to B and said "you know what? It's official. There isn't a single light fixture in this house that I don't want to replace."

"Even the dining room chandelier that's held up with a piece of rope?"

"Nope, not my style. I do like the rope though."

B feels the same way about the plumbing fixtures. All the plumbing fixtures. The diverter valves in all the showers are blown - when you try to take a shower, you get a trickle out of the shower and a deafening waterfall out of the tub faucet. B has replaced one of the faucets so far, the other two showers are still on our Lowe's list. But that still leaves the faucets, the toilet seats... the sink stopper in the upstairs hall bathroom broke last night and when I tried to close it, it stayed closed. B fixed it, for now at least. One more thing on the Lowe's list.

I tried putting something away on a shelf in the kitchen and discovered when the shelf wobbled crazily and deposited its load back on the counter. Lowe's list.

It's a twenty year old house and we knew what we were getting when we made the offer. And I don't mean to suggest that we bought a fixer, we just bought a twenty year old house that has never been updated in any way. And we did this on purpose, we chose this over new construction that we could have chosen all the finishing for. We did this not (only) to save money, but because we relish the chance to make it our own by making these changes ourselves, one at a time.

This weekend, I tried to put a huge cutting board away in a cabinet that was perfect - narrow & tall - for holding large cutting boards and cookie sheets. When I tried to put it in though, I discovered that the cabinet also had a shelf in the back of it. B + 1 hammer + 5 minutes = perfection. The cutting board is snug now in its new home with the cookie sheets.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Entendez-vous dans les Campagnes?

We closed on Bastille day. It's fitting in its way. I had visions in the morning of us emerging from our apartment into the sunlight, rubbing our eyes, and marching down the street toward liberation. At which point I remembered that glorious, inspirational demeanor of the actual head of the original parade out of the Bastille was a man who had been imprisoned there because he was under the delusion that he was Julius Ceasar. In all the excitement of the people rising and creating a grand republic, they lined up to parade behind a would-be tyrant. It really ruined the metaphor, but what the heck.

There was much driving back and forth yesterday, and there was outright panic from Holly. After six weeks of slowly growing anxiety, yesterday morning it really came to a head. She started the day by making a break for it out the door, and nothing would calm her down except letting her get in the car. She's been running and roughhousing with Minnie since we got to the house yesterday, and burned some of the frantic crazy off in the process, but it's going to be a while before she's convinced and settles in. She slept between us last night (which is very unusual), ending up this morning jammed in between the pillows, curled up at both our heads.

We had a last minute of comedy. The keys to the deadbolts for the back doors had never been available while the house was being shown, and our agent tried to track them down for us yesterday. She sent me the email trail at the end of it because it was so unbelievable - the sellers are saying that in the ten years they owned the house they never had keys for the back doors, both of which open to the deck.

(Before you say "you want to rekey anyway" - yes, we know that. But if the door is deadbolted shut, to rekey it you either have to drill out the lock or take the door off its hinges before you can remove the old lock (if it was easy to remove a locked deadbolt there wouldn't be much point in having one in the first place). We're at the point of laughing about all this though - it's all no end of crazy).

When we went to bed last night, B was talking about how great it was to know what he's going to do the next day, and to know that there's so much that needs doing and that he knows how to do, and he was awake and dressed before 8 this morning. I am loving this house owning thing.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Puppy Pics

The pic of Minnie holding the monkey is from her first night with us. The one with her playing with Holly is more recent - you can see all the packing going on in the background.

Puppy pics have been requested. This is Minnie between 6 and 7 weeks. She's... substantially larger now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

I really couldn't bear to look at this blog over the past year. It's been an agonizing holding pattern. Looking at the date on the last entry, I realize that it's almost exactly a year to the day after I wrote that that we finally made an offer on a house. And today, we got the notice that we're clear to close! We sign the papers on Tuesday afternoon and start picking up where we left off.

Has it been a lost year? Yes and no. I've had a lot going on at work, and work has been going very well for me, but I don't think that would have been materially different if things had gone smoothly a year ago. It's made a vast deal of difference, for the better, in B's life though. He's progressed a lot with how to deal with stress and how to recognize and cope with his co-dependent tendencies that I don't think would have been as easy if he was trying to parent. During this last year, he actually stated a preference as though it was no big deal. Which was a very big deal.

We got a much better deal on the house we ended up with than we could have on the house we had initially wanted. And we got a fantastic deal on the loan. Financially, this was a very good delay.

Balance that against the guilt from knowing that some kid, somewhere out there, spent an extra year waiting for a forever family. I'm able to be rational about it now, but I suspect that when some kid becomes my kid there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. On the inside.

B has asked for a little time to get settled in before we start the home study, and I can't say no. My youngest brother is getting married at the end of September and we'll have a full house for the week of the wedding, plus we've volunteered to host the rehearsal dinner/backyard barbecue, and B has said that as soon as the wedding is done and behind us that he's good to go to start moving on getting kids home, but he thinks it's a bad idea to compound the stress. And he's right, but I hate to admit it.

That's the drama-light version of this past year. We waited around and worked a lot, then we got a house. The end.

Oh, and there's a new puppy. And she's adorable.