A NEW HOME CHRONICLE
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28 February 2006Getting Used to New Things
The first is a new route to work, which is easier (I take surface roads until I get to I-75 South, several miles south of where I used to get on; it's a sign of how busy my previous surface road route was that this new, longer, but less congested route takes me the same amount of time to navigate). The way home is longer because traffic is so bad at the time I get out that I cannot take the direct route. (Also, because of the post office's cute little debacle, I'm still going by the old house to make sure our mail gets to us.)
Other things are funny because they are so ingrained. For ten years we have been living with combination lights/ceiling fans which were run on the same switch. So to keep the fans going constantly, the light switches had to stay in the on position and we turned the lights on through the pull cord on the light itself.
So it's really funny to walk into a room and then realize you have to turn back to the wall to turn on the light instead of grabbing the pull cord. All the lights in the new house have separate switches for ceiling fans.
Anyway, our trash gets collected tomorrow so we've tried to offload as many boxes as we can to go out. There's a a stack next to me and James has a dozen or so in the garage to break down since the trash people won't take them in "box" condition. While rummaging around downstairs James found the bolster I use to support my back when I sit on the sofahurrah! I have another, but it's quite hard, and it's now been relegated to the spare bedroom. I also cleared off the top of the mantel and put all our decorative treasures up there, including two fall ladies, a tankard and goblet that say "lord" and "lady," respectively, and the fall-themed maple sugar shack that we found mixed in with the Christmas village things after the holidays. In keeping with the main living theme, I've scattered my little fall decorations about: bouquets in small brass containers, china pumpkins and acorns, and the beautiful bouquet on the mantel of cattails and Chinese lanterns.
Still haven't found the computer books, darnit, or the rest of the media books.
All in good time, I suppose.
I kept peeking out the window this afternoon hoping to spy a bird at the feeder already, but I guess the scout birds are still scoping it out. I think it takes about a week for them to decide it's safe. Usually the first comers will be the chickadees. They're fearless little guys. I have several chickadee sculptures in the living room.
26 February 2006Yep, I Was Right
Accomplished This Weekend
Well, things proceed.
We've cleared out more boxes. James thinks he's emptied all his kits into the closet or on the wheeled shelving, and the huge boxes they were in sit in the garage. We've also unpacked numerous other boxes.
Saturday while James was at his meeting I put up the apple swags in the dining room windows. They are at present not ironed; I thought laundry and unpacking took priority. Once we get the rooms a bit more clear I can pull out the ironing board and spiff them up. I've decided just to have the swags up and not tiers. The windows face east and a great deal of sun does not enter the house, so we can leave the view unobstructed. Today we bought a pole which clamps to the top of the deck rail; it has two swiveling hooks on it, decorated with birds. We can hang bird feeders from each hook and see them from across the living room. Hopefully it won't take the birds too long to find itI love watching them at the feeder, especially the chickadees and sparrows.
On the French door out to the deck I put one of the lace curtain panels that used to be on the front window of the old house. The door is metal, so we didn't have to mount a curtain rod into any wood, just got a magnetic one. The curtain is slightly too long, so I have pinned it up.
James has put up the remainder of the shades, in the living room and on the two bedroom windows that face west into the strongest sun come summer. The curtains aren't up yet, but I haven't found the other half to each pair (we only had one window in the other bedrooms in the old house, too, so we have only found one of one color and one of the other).
The computers are hitched up to the printers, although we do not yet have our DSL service back yet. Earthlink said they couldn't "find" our phone number when I called on Wednesday and we've been too busy since then.
James installed a Nyled rail system from Ikea in the kitchen. You can put hooks or other attachments on it to hold different kitchen utensils.
All the DVDs are out and shelved.
All my craft items are put up.
The wire racks are in the spare room closet for storing of the Christmas boxes and other items, but there is room for a visitor to hang up clothing as well. We'll probably keep the larger dresser (five drawers) in there and either donate the four-drawer one or use it elsewhere.
The hall closet is fully stocked with cleaning supplies.
In the foyer, as I said, Mom's tier table has been repaired. We brought back the "horse lamp," the lamp my mom had from the time she and my dad "went housekeeping" with the pale jade-colored horse on its base, from Rhode Island and fitted it with a light-sensing socket. Today at Lowe's we bought a new lampshade for it; they didn't have much of a choice of styles in anything either of us liked, so we got basic white.
The hall bathroom is pretty much ready for company; James just needs to hang the wooden anchor with pegs in it to hang the towels up on. The hall bath has a lighthouse/seaside theme.
22 February 2006Accomplished 02/22/2006
The Expedit is up! We're using it as a wall divider between the dining room and the living room. (We bought the "birch effect" unit rather than white or black. It's not so stark.) Some of the cubes have our cookbooks and food reference books (like The Little House Cookbook, which is a fascinating read even if you don't like cooking, and Food Finds, which has Eclipse coffee syrup entry in it). We still haven't found Alton Brown; I think he's with the Sidetracked Sisters and the other organizational books.
The Expedit backs up onto James' computer desk, which blocks some of the open cubes. For the other open cubes at dog-level we bought some wicker baskets at Ikea. I filled them with the smaller games, such as Visual Eyes and the Uno cards, and put them into these cubes, thereby blocking Willow's access. The rest of the bigger games, Super Scrabble and Cranium, etc., are also in those bottom cubes.
On the opposite wall from the Expedit, I set a video cabinet which holds my transferred-from-video DVDs and the Christmas video media (no need for them to be out all year). Now between the Expedit and the video cabinet we can set the baby gate and Willow is denned in the dining room, but can walk into the kitchen to get food and water.
I also shelved the anime and non-Disney animation, plus all the Disney animation, live-action films, and Treasures. The fireplace is emerging into sight. Tonight we need to put the computer oriented boxes up: the paper under the printer, the software in its racks, etc. Then the back of the sofa should be clear and I can put the other two media shelves and rack the aviation, animal, war, western, musical, and comedy DVDs.
Also made up the futon in the spare room and put the slipcover back on the loveseat in my craft room. I need to empty out a few more boxes there into the cabinets to have all my cross-stitch and glass painting equipment away. I'd love to empty the box of LPs, but guess where the bookcase I've used to hold the LPs and 45s is: at the very back corner in the library where all the bookcases are stored right now. They'll have to settle for the closet for now. :-)
We still haven't found the plastic food storage containers. I suspect they're in the garage.
So that's about a dozen more boxes empty.
21 February 2006Accomplished Tonight
We also had our first home cooked meal; all the other nights have been takeout or restaurants. We had pork bits with onion and mushrooms, with a side of Yukon Gold potatoes. James has tried the new Smart Balance buttery spread, which was recommended by Cooks Illustrated because it was low in fat but melted like real butter. He likes it.
Kitchen Space 101 and Other Space Problems
We have found most of our kitchen things, thanks to our efficient packers, except for the plastic storage. (I know it's here somewhere. LOL.) James was having quite a time arranging yesterday because the kitchen storage space is actually smaller; we have one fewer cabinet than we did in the old house. We have coped with this shortage slightly by buying the baker's rack (it holds both the convection oven and microwave, plus the bread machine, the crock pot, and the smaller crock pot we brought home from my mom's). Our large canistersBisquick, flour, rice, pioneer porridge, kosher saltare on the shelf above. We also have a roll cart for extra counter space with our granola bars stored underneath. The pantry closet is full because we buy bulk to save money on non-perishables.
I have taken steps to save some space by putting the party things in another closet. We'll use them this year for the movers' party and the housewarming, but usually we only have them out once or twice a year (used to be more, but we don't have a APA collation party to volunteer for any longer). The new house will be more conducive to entertaining so we hope to have a "games night" in the future, like the Lawsons do. I have several editions of Trivial Pursuit as well as Cranium and the booster pack, and I'm dying to play some Super Scrabble.
We will need a china cabinet at least, for Mom's china. At the moment, I have only gotten to unpack my "china" and store it in the microwave cart (with Willow's dog biscuits and our special mugs on topthe Ask the Manager mug in front! <g>). This is actually stonewear, not china; the pattern is "Royal Mail" and has English coaching scenes in brown on the plates. My mom was quite surprised that I didn't pick blue, but I liked the sepia tone better. But with the addition of "the blue glasses" (Mom's cobalt-blue drinking glasses and dessert plates) and the lack of space, we may actually need a buffet, too. Then the Christmas glasses can go there as well, rather than taking up space in the cupboard.
I can't wait until James has the room divider (an "Expedit" from Ikea) assembled. Right now we have a jerry-rigged barrier to keep Willow in the dining room at night. Otherwise, I know that dog; she'd take advantage and sleep on the "nice soft puppy bed" in the living room (a.k.a. the sofa).
It's so nice that the house is so quiet! The soundproofing is incredible. My alarm for my heart pill went off last night in the bedroom and we couldn't hear it; in the old house if it rang in the den you could hear it upstairs in the kitchen. Willow slept through the entire night without barking (usually some dog or people talking in the apartment complex, even through closed windows, sets her off).
James did get a chance to set up the towel racks in the bathroom last night. This is a cool dual rack we found at Lowe's; it holds two towels, one on a different level and also away from the other. He also put up a ring holder for the towels I use for my hair. We have to figure out a way to install the mirror we bought from Ikea; it doesn't seem to have any mounting hardware. It's nice, though: square with a birch frame, very simple and clean.
20 February 2006Vinegar Rinse
Success! We have shelves in our cupboard.
When we did the walk-through of the new house, we noted that one of the cupboards had shelf supports, but no shelves. The builder said he would get shelves.
As of this morning, we still didn't have them, so on the way to WalMart this morning, we flagged him down and told him the problem. Since this was the cupboard we wanted to put the dishes and glasses in, it was annoying.
When we got back from WalMart, he showed up from two shelves taken out of another house in progress, but they were too long. The cabinet installers were working in the house next door, so they trimmed them for us and now the dishes and glassware have a home.
After the shelves were installed we went back to the old house and finished cleaning the lower level. I ran an empty washer load with a cup of vinegar to clean out the machine, washed all the floors a second time with vinegar to make sure they were completely clean, vacuumed behind the stove and the refrigerator, removed any picture nails from the wall, dismantled and discarded the venerable old computer desk I'd been using, dusted the rest of the ceiling fans, made certain all the booklets to the appliances were in the appropriate rooms, and James replaced the bifold doors on what used to be his hobby room. The final step was re-mopping the parquet near the glass doors.
And we were done.
Took a big load of old clothing, hobby things, dishes, and other bits and pieces to Goodwill, then unloaded the last carful and truckful. Before supper we went to Lowe's and bought a dual towel bar for the master bath as well as a towel ring to hold my hair towels and a stand to hold the garden tools. We also got some Pine Mountain logs for when we get the fireplace clear and a little resin fox for the flower bed in the front yard. He was too cute to pass up.
19 February 2006The Clean Team
We slept as late as we could, then had a Typical Southern Breakfast (Waffle House, of course), and then tackled the old house. Cleaning had been ignored for several weeks as we packed, packed, packed, and I wanted everything scrubbed and cleaned. James also had to clean out the rest of the shed and dismantle our old bed and get a few books and a couple of shelves we had left behind. I dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed out bathrooms, washed windows, gave the fridge a surgical cleaning, scrubbed the counters, etc. We were there six hours and then decided to leave the den and the downstairs bathroom for tomorrow, when we will also dismantle the old computer desk and take the boxes to Goodwill to donate. (Unfortunately one of our efficient movers took the box of books destined for the library and took it to the house instead. I told you they were good!) We have some hooks to take down as well and four switchplates to replace (I have cross-stitched switchplates dotted around the house.)
Oh, well, time to unload the car and the truck...
18 February 2006Home--But Not Free
It's been an exhausting few days.
I stayed home on Wednesday to pack, but it wasn't enough. When the movers showed up on Thursday we didn't have as many things packed as we wanted. But they did take the bulk of the heavy things, including the television. They swept through the house like locusts, taking all the packed things; meanwhile, we packed up what we could ourselves. Soon all our things were deposited at the new house, but too many things were left behind.
We hitched up the television, but all that contretemps with the Dish guy seemed to have been for nothing on Monday, because we weren't getting any signal. We did get everything else working.
Next day I went out to our friends' house to pick up their two sons who I had hired to clean out the back yard. They made some progress, but the back yard is really overgrown with vines under the leaves, so they couldn't do much in three hours. James was at the new house to hang the shades in our bedroom as well as the curtain rods, but it turned out the shades weren't a fit. He came to the house to help me pack instead. When I ran the boys home I picked up two more shades of the correct measurement.
We don't know what happened, but the television has gone berserk. James met the Dish network guy who was out to straighten out the mess the other had made. The Dish guy didn't touch the television, and James only shifted the stand it was on, but when he pressed one of the buttons to cycle through the different video inputs, suddenly the television did a cycle of the channels like it was doing an auto setup, and now sometimes the remote works, sometimes it doesn't. The power switch on the TV itself suddenly doesn't work and sometimes the remote works and sometimes it doesn't. Too weird. We finally got it to input channels and watched the dog show. Also got the two desk computers working, but have to get online using the laptop because the modem doesn't work in mine and we didn't have phone cord for James'.
Today the last of our helpers turned up. This was service above and beyond because it was in the thirties and raining. The boys went back into the back yard and worked five more hours cleaning up the yard; their mom finally joined them (after packing up the kitchen) and then their dad after he and the others transported a van/truck load to the new house. I had loaded my car again with kitchen stuff, but stayed at the house when they went for a second trip, and ended up in the back yard helping them finish up.
Finally, dirty and damp and cold (at least it had stopped raining), the bulk of the leaves were gone.
Also nominated for sainthood, with performance above and beyond:
Sorry this is so disjointed but I am pooped and can hardly keep my eyes open.
13 February 2006Waiting...
We had an appointment for the Dish guy to show up sometime after noon. I was pleased that I didn't get a call until late in the afternoon, since I had a bunch of work to do. Finally they called at three, saying that the installer hadn't been able to find our place, even though James had given them specific instructions. The installer had gone out to the next place, but would be done and be at our house in an hour. I said it was a good thing they had called, since I needed nearly an hour to get home. I also gave him directions to give to the installer again.
I got to the house just before four. And waited, and waited. After a half hour, I called James, since I had no access to any phone numbers. He called up Dish for me, and I also returned a call to the Dish rep who had called me to tell the installer had gotten lost but only got voice mail.
So I did stuff. I unpacked and hung up the clothes we had brought there (pretty much the entire contents of our closet). Some of the clothes were packed in suitcases, so I nested them again when they were empty. I shelved another box of books. I found the rest of the CDs and alphabetized my Christmas CDs and sorted the others into categories. I set up my stereo and played David Huntsinger's "Autumn in New England." I Carpet Flicked. I hung up some decorations in the dining room.
In short, I did makework, when I should have been doing stuff at the present house.
The Dish guy showed up at 5:30, saying he'd gotten lost again. Urgh. Funny, our friends had no trouble finding it. He was installing the Dish until past seven; James came by with supper (Boston Market) and we ate half of it there before he was done. (We took the rest home because we knew Willow would have to go out!)
Now we are packing and watching the first night of Westminster.
12 February 2006Adventures in Moving Part 3
A good sleep, breakfast, and then off again: we went for groceries and things at BJs. I bought a Carpet Flick (a Swiffer for your carpet). It has a two-sided sticky insert inside it and you run it across the carpet and it catches lint, crumbs, etc. Works better than the darn carpet sweeper I payed $$ for some years ago which didn't gather anything. (My mom once had the best carpet sweeper I ever used, one of the big, old Bissells. When it finally died we bought a new one from Bissell and it wasn't anywhere in the same performance range.) We brought the milk and the butter to the new house and I played with the Flick; works pretty well! (Every time I use that name, all I can hear is the line from A Christmas Story: "Flick? Flick? Who's Flick?")
When we got home we packed all the food and other gadgets (breadmaker, etc.) out of the two freestanding pantry cabinets and put them in 12x12x12 boxes we had picked up earlier at U-Haul. We also emptied the freezer except for a few things. Since it was so cold todayI don't think it got out of the thirties, which is downright cold for Georgia, and it snow flurried most of the day, big, fat flakes drifting and swirling around, but not stickingwe figured it was a great time to move the frozen food. (It's supposed to be 67°F the day the movers are coming.)
We didn't seal the boxes; just transported them to the new place where I stocked the pantry closet and the new freezer while James assembled the Billy bookcase from Ikea. When he finished that, he started on the kitchen cart, and I assembled the shelf extension for the Billy as well as the two inserts that will make it possible for us to store CDs in the Billy. The bookcase itself and the extension were a breeze to assemble, but the inserts were a pain in the neck. You put them together by pegging the verticals with the horizontal in between, and then use brads to fasten a back on the entire assembly. The brads were large and every time you pounded one in, it knocked one of the dividers off its peg a little. Quite aggravating, but once assembled, it looked swell. I found most of the CDs as James finished the cart and stocked it; also shelved the radio shows.
Got home wayyyyy after six, but in time to watch some of the Olympic coverage. It is typical of life, as February Callendar once said, that of course we are moving during the one sporting event I've ever been interested in, the Winter Olympics!
But James did get ahold of Dish last night and arrange for the Dish Mover service for tomorrow.
11 February 2006Adventures in Moving Part 2
More fine people to thank:
Kayla (Kayla! I forgot your last name!)
who helped us to pack the rest of the books for the movers and tow a lot more stuff to the house, including my glider rocker, my favorite lamp (the one with the autumn leaves on it), the ironing board...never mind, too boring to list.
We started out ourselves earlier, by Kaiser for prescriptions, by Michael's for more tape (we had coupons), and then to two places for boxes. J.L. was too busy to help us and the hobby shop didn't have any boxes, so we headed for our storage shed, only to find that the office was closed; they are now closing at 12 p.m. on Saturday. How weird! James had to run off to the U-Haul on Windy Hill for more boxes.
Jessie and Aubrey gained points for Girl Scouts for helping out with our move and it also counts as a good deed for Jessie, who must do twenty good deeds to get her red belt in tai kwan do.
Finally all were off and James and I went to Ikea for supper. We bought a Billy bookcase to put our CDs and other radio show and media in, and one of the smaller Expedit room dividers. Ordinarily I would have left the dining room/living room unobstructed, but since Willow will be living back in the dining room, we need the room divider along with an extendable baby gate that the Lawsons gave us to keep her there. Otherwise, I know that dog: I'd come home and find her asleep on the "nice soft puppy bed," i.e., the sofa. (And I wouldn't mind a fig about that, since she's bathed regularly, except that I'm allergic to her and it's best to keep the dander content on things I use down.)
Of course we had to tow this all back to the house. The Billy weighs 84 pounds and the Expedit weighs 128, so we took the boxes apart and brought each segment up the stairs separately.
Tired now. :-) But it's a good tired.
(Alright. I lied. It's not a "good" tired. I hurt. But I said I'd work for this house and damn well I will.)
10 February 2006Adventures in Moving Part 1 PM Edition
So I packed up seven boxes of books (it was amazing how many books were stuck in the "biography/pets/space program/miscellaneous" bookcase!) and dismantled my stereo so I could move the bookcase it was sitting on aside after I packed up my LPs. Now there is bare wall to stack more boxes against.
Also finished a load of clothes and removed some nails and brads from the wall.
I am sooooo tired...
Adventures in Moving Part 1 AM Edition
H.H. Gregg called at 6:15 a.m. to say they would be delivering the new fridge and washer and dryer sometime between nine and noon. James answered the phone muzzily and then went back to sleep. They called again, I guess sometime after seven, to say they'd be at the house between 8:30 and 9:30; they weren't sure. But what James heard (I'm off today and he doesn't need to be in until 9:30 so he sleeps in until 7:45 when I'm home) was a reconfirm on the time, this time between 8:30 and 11:30.
So I got up when he left, started the laundry, cleaned out some things in the laundry room, and started to pack the things under the sinks for transfer to the house. The phone rang. It was the guys from H.H. Gregg wanting to know where I was!
So I abandoned the laundry and dashed over there; they were delivering the structural beams for the last house being built in the development and I had to wait to get through.
The guys from Gregg were too cool: they had to get the fridge up the L-shaped set of stairs to the main floor. I stayed outside and let 'em work: they had to remove the banister, but they got it up there, made not a mark, and put the banister back. Yay delivery guys.
When they finished I went home to find the appraiser from ReMax just coming out of the house. He said, "I need to tell you; there's a strong gas odor coming from the side of your house." (Where the meter is.) So I had to call Cobb EMC. There was a leak at the meter. Gas guy fixed it. All cool.
When he showed up I was packing all the cleaning supplies, extra soap, etc. you keep under the sink. Just as he rang the bell I was coming down the stairs with this full box; I missed the step, thankfully caught myself, but lost the box. Oh, well, no mirrors.
So I took a load of bathroom stuff and all the kitchen decor (our cow and apple decorations) over to the house; put up the bathroom stuff so I could bring the boxes back, and tacked up a couple of the cow/apple things with my little hammer and handy 3/4" brads. I also "christened" the house with books: one of the things Doug brought over last night were the two smallest bookcases that we plan to use in our room. I set them up, dusted them once more, found my Gladys Taber books and Madeleine L'Engle (religious) nonfiction, and set them up, and also a box of books James had labeled "bedside books" (David Weber, WWI nonfic, etc.).
And I brought the two photocopy paper boxes they were in home. Whee.
Back hurts again. Didn't have anything this morning but half a glass of milk, so am having milk now, oatmeal...oh, yeah, and my vitamins...
09 February 2006Nominated for Sainthood
who came over after work and helped us move out everything we had boxed. All the books are gone except the three bookcases and the computer books that need packing, and the DVDs and videos, two small bookcases, all of James' packed kits, the rockets and rocket engines, some other small pieces of furniture, the rockers from the front porch, about half of the clothes in the closet, other various things. Caran and I started a little after six; Doug and James showed up about seven. We made two trips and were done about 10:30, at which time James and I finally had time for a Wendyburger. My back is now screaming. I took a Motrin before I ate.
Now we need to get more boxes and pack some more.
Got a big shock when we stepped into the two front bedrooms: boy they were warm. They're right under the furnace and does it show. We'll need to shut the vents in there.
08 February 2006Baker's Rack
Our baker's rack (to hold the convection microwave) is in...about to go pick it up. It will be the first thing we put in the house (well, along with four rolls of paper towels and some toilet paper).
04 February 2006Closed
We closed yesterday, BTW. We had a ... cough ... minor bobble that has been cleared up, but it sure made for a miserable day and a half.
Spent part of today getting more boxes; we took all J.L. had at SPD, where James used to work. And we're still packing (and running out of room to put the boxes).
02 February 2006I'm Walkin'...
Boy, I'm knackered. Had three hours walk this morning and then James and I did another three hours tonight. Good exercise for sure, but I'm soooo sleepy now!
E.J., the building supervisor, took us through everything: we not only looked for dings on the wall and any unfinished items, but he showed us all the turnoffs (water, gas, etc.) and how to light the water heater, etc. He took copious notes while we dotted any dings and unfinished items with blue masking tape.
We learned some interesting things, including about the outlets that are powered by switches: only the top half of the outlet is on the switch, the bottom half is not, so, as he put it, you won't turn off your alarm clock.
When we got done there, we dashed off to have dinner and then met our real estate agent at her office (wayyyyyyy out). She thinks she may have a buyer for us! We'll cross fingers real hard...
Foyer from the top of the stairs:
From the Ground Up
Finished walking around the house with the building inspector a little while ago. His name is Dan Curl and he came highly recommended by two of our friends. I'm in agreement. If you need a home inspection in the Atlanta area, here's his website. Much interesting info there.
We walked around the yard, checking the drainage, checked the grounding for the electrical system, then he went up in the attic to look at the AC (and told me something about it while I stood on the ladder), we tested all the water, the stove, the dishwasher, the jetted tub, etc, etc, etc. He was very impressed with the builder and found only small faults. In fact, he was very impressed with whomever did the wiring and thought the breaker box so outstanding that he took a photo of it!
In 45 minutes we have the walk through with the builder. I made some notes of cosmetic things, but at least I know now that the major things are correct.