Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Devil's in the Details...

I have no clue what that phrase means, but I am using it for this post because I thought I might provide you with some pictures of some of the details, good and bad in the new house.  It seemed that many of the pictures I took thus far were long shots.  So this time, I got a little closer.  

Here is a closer look at the cabinet doors in the kitchen. Well, one of them at least.  It kind of loses its country baby blue effect that close up, but it is still that color. Do not fear.

This is a ventilation fan over the sink. It opens directly outside and is scary. It is also way high up and I can barely reach to turn it off.  It looks cool though.

Here are two shelves in the kitchen.  I originally thought they were spice racks because they are so narrow.  However, they are not over the stove but across from it which makes them rather impractical. Since our pantry is so tiny (forgot to get a picture of that), I will probably store spices there anyhow.  This weekend after B took one off the wall, we realized that there are grooves in there for plates - collector plates.  GOOD LORD.

This is the light fixture in the kitchen by the window seat. It is pretty but doesn't really match the rest of the kitchen as it is (a) modern, and (b) has a purple rim around it. Since when does a mod purple light match country baby blue?

This is the chandelier in our dining room.  It is is pretty and that decorative plaster at the top is pretty awesome. I was convinced this was plastic but am told it is glass.  Not the biggest fan of brass though.

These are the little windows on either side of the dining room. I do not know why they put a little shutter on top of a big shutter since it is one big window, but there is a lot that is a mystery in this house. B would like wood slatted (?) shutters. I know what I am talking about, but not sure that is the right term.

This is some more decorative plaster on our living room ceiling:

Detail of the tile floor around the fireplace:

Detail of the brick around the fireplace:

More decorative plaster on the TV room ceiling:

Remember when I told you the other side of the upstairs door was white and chewed up by a dog? I was not lying. Here is your proof:

Close up of the blue with white stars painted room.  Sassy!

And last, a close up of the tile in our bathroom.  Yes it is still peach.

Next, we attempt to freshen the  place up a bit...starting from the bottom up.*

*That totally sounded like something a newscaster would say at the end of a story.  I feel so professional.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Play by Play - An Evening with Dani

Also known as "why I can never get anything done."  Here is what I did upon arriving home tonight:

Decided I was hungry and needed to make soup for my sore throat.
Went into the kitchen, turned on the light, got out the soup.
Decided I need to change out of my suit.
Left the kitchen and headed to the bedroom.

Decided to do a load of towels along the way.
Put B's clothes in the dryer, the towels in the washer.
Threw out the lint in the bathroom and remembered my nylons were snagged and would need to be thrown out as well.
Thought about brushing my hair.

Went into the bedroom and changed.
Remembered that I wanted to load up all of the extra hangers from the bedroom closet and other closet to take to new house.
Went to living room to get tote.
Threw out nylons.

Went over the computer to check my email.
Checked Twitter.
Checked Facebook.
Read some blogs from my reader.
Looked at some contests, decided to do them later.
Found I was very hungry.

Headed to the kitchen where I found the light on and the soup out.
Started the soup.
Heard B's clothes were done.
Took clothes into the bedroom and found the light on, the closet open.
Remembered I wanted to take care of the hangers.
Went back looking for the tote.
Along the way, stopped in bathroom to throw out lint.
Found cabinet door open where hairbrush is (never brushed hair)
Found under sink door open where trash is (threw out nylons somewhere else)

Went and got tote.  
Soup is done.
Put down tote.



Eventually the following DID occur:

I ate soup.
I did the laundry.
I changed out of my suit.
Took care of the hangers.
Brushed my hair.

Whew! No wonder it seems to take me forever to get things done!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Work at Fort Knox

The other day I found out just how secure my office really is.  You see we are on the second floor of a building with an open lobby.  There is a long winding staircase and our lobby overlooks the vestibule below. It is quite pretty.  However, we cannot just have anyone off the street roaming free in our office as we have important things that are for OUR EYES ONLY.  It is true.  As a result, every door that enters into the actual offices require a pin number on a keypad.   It can get rather annoying when you have to leave one hall to the next (for example there are five doors off the lobby itself and each one has a keypad).  Luckily the receptionist can buzz you in the door that leads to the restroom to make it easier for her when clients are there. She can also buzz you into the door where the conference rooms are. As for the rest of the doors, you are on your own.

Which brings us to the latest events.  A well known client, maybe even an important client, came into the office.  He needed to go through one of the doors that the receptionist could not buzz him through to get to see Partner.  The receptionist told him to hang on so she could come over and let him through. The client, however, had other ideas and said,

"No, that's okay, I've got it."

and proceeded to take out a credit card and swipe it down the side of the door which sprang open instantaneously and effortlessly.

Are you kidding me?

The man used a CREDIT CARD to open our secured, keypad doors.

I nearly peed myself laughing so hard.

The receptionist replicated his display with success, immediately freaked out and went to find someone to 'TAKE CARE OF THIS."

I continued to laugh.

Then I took my iPod docking station home.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Sea of Boxes

In the midst of the renovations which resulted in this:

The basement of the new house went from looking like this:

and this:

To this:

and this:

Then came the arrival of these guys (yes the wall is still that hideous yellow but you will see the transformation in an upcoming post I am sure):

And then, just a few days later, to this:

And this:

And this:

Man we have a lot of stuff! 

This happened in just three short days.  In fact, B's parents remarked about how quickly we had piled stuff up.  I had not realized at the time how quickly we did it, but looking back it does not surprise me. You see, B, is not one to just sit idle.  Every time one of us thought about going to the new house in those three days, our vehicle had to be packed to the brim with boxes.  In fact, for the closing, we both drove separately with vehicles completely packed to the top. It would be the first of many trips in those first few days. It reminds me of when we decided to move in together. I was living in an apartment with a few weeks left on my lease. We made the decision and I decided it was great that I would have a nice long time to pack up and get prepared. Nope! B started moving my "little" stuff the next day.  Whatever wasn't nailed down or did not require heavy lifting was gone.  Finally, after finding him measuring my desk to move and my exclaiming, "but what will I put my computer on if you take THAT", I just broke down, hired a mover, and was out within days.  If not for the refinishing of the floors, I am sure it would be the same now.

Oh, and did we move all of those boxes in nice balmy weather? Of course not.  This is a snapshot of what we experienced:

That's about how I felt too when all was said and done. Good thing I have gloves.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Today I Got an Eyeful

That would be literally, of course.  I swear if there is a slim margin of chance something will happen to me, it will.  And hilarity may ensue.

I had a client lunch meeting at one of the fancy schmancy restaurants my Partner likes to frequent. Actually, I guess I like to frequent as well since the entire staff knows my name and my waitress doesn't even bring me a menu anymore.  In any event, I was exactly on time which meant I was late in my Partner's eyes, so I was in a bit of a rush.  The valet guy, who also knows me, was kind enough to open the door for me. As I was walking quickly through and about to maneuver myself out of my coat for the coatcheck, it happens...

A HUGE plop of water from the top of the door falls down in between my glasses and face and RIGHT INTO MY EYE.  I was so stunned and discombobulated, I almost fell over.  Right at that moment a maitre d' type guy opens the next door for me.  Half blind, I stumbled in and wondered how I was going to get all of that water out of my eye, off my face and off my glasses without admitting what happened and in the mere 30 seconds I had to get to the table with the clients.

I started trying to nonchalantly wipe at my eye.  Seriously I must have looked like I was crying from only one eye.  As that did not appear to be working, I decide to remove my glasses and take a big swipe. At that exact moment, maitre d' guy decides to act like the coat check and take my coat for me.  Now I am trying to maneuver myself out of my coat while holding my glasses and wiping my eye.  Perhaps I never told you how blind I am without the glasses? Oh, but I guess I did.  While this is happening maitre d' guy says "The rest of your party is already here" (Crap! I AM late) followed by "can you see them."  Ha! Is this a joke? NO I CANNOT SEE THEM! I HAVE BEEN BLINDED BY YOUR LEAKY DOOR AND AM HOLDING MY SUPER THICK GLASSES IN MY HAND.

Instead I say "oh of course I see them."  And just turn right.  Luckily Partner picked the table that he normally does and I was headed in the right direction. However, since they had not seen me just yet, I dodged into the women's room to get rid of the water.  Of course, by that time it had dried. And there were two women in the extremely small bathroom. I have never seen one person in the bathroom, let alone two women who are now eyeing me strangely as I look in my eye, wipe my brow and wipe my glasses.  I could still feel that big plop in my eye.

Finally made my way to the table and all was well...until cappuccino time.  The waitress always brings chocolate chip biscotti cookies with my cappuccino, enough for the table. Everyone wins with my cappuccino order.  As I was eating the cappuccino, Partner said something so ridiculous that I went to laugh, but instead lodged the piece of biscotti sideways in my throat. I am not kidding. It hurt like hell!  Trying to maintain my cool while I had visions of dying in the restaurant, I swiftly swallow a bunch of water, finally feeling the cookie go down. I then declare to Partner "You nearly killed me!"  And all was well...

Until back at the office when my throat became so scratchy, it made eating cake painful and that is just A SHAME.  Apparently I really scratched up my throat with that biscotti. Who knows what I did to my eye with that nasty melty water plop.

At least I was able to belt out Happy Birthday, in true dramatic fashion, in between the part time theater person and the accounting person, with arms spread wide.

And not knock anything over.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Renovate! Take a Walk With Me (Part 1)

As you know from my first post about the house, many things on our "to do" list were, in fact, LAST ON THE LIST.  However, there are many things that are first on the list. Aside from boring stuff like plumber, electrician, chimney sweep, we have the floors. We wanted that nasty carpet gone and the hardwood floors underneath restored.  The floor guy came and said that despite the fact that nothing had been done to the floors in 30 years, they looked pretty good. We let out a sigh of relief and told him to get to it.  Here are the pictures of the tear down and sanding:

The living room as the carpet was being torn back to reveal the floors:

During the process:

The stairs:

The back TV room - so messy!  And I think that is B's shadow taking the picture:

Living room without carpet. Looks better already:

From the dining room:

Back TV room all cleaned up:

And from an angle inside the room:

Upstairs master bedroom sanded:

Crazy red, white and blue room sanded:

Another view of master bedroom:

Other bedroom sanded.  Don't ask me why those curtains are still on there, although I will say they look a lot less awful sans carpet:

Back bedroom with balcony and door with midget lock:

Same room, different angle - from inside:

Master bedroom again, different angle:

Tell me that house does not look 100 % better already?  I love it.  Kudos to B for taking such wonderful pictures. He even made sure the shades were up so the natural light shown in. That is probably more thought than I would have put into it.

I know I still owe you the story of the house, but I am going to make this a quick post today and tackle that subject later.  

And more pictures, of course, to come!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And Then It Went Down the Drain...

Our garbage disposal died yesterday. Not the one at the new house, the one at the old house. Of course. We are just about to move next week and we have a tenant moving into the condo. Of course something would break.  

I told B on Sunday that the disposal broke.  I was on Twitter at the time and complaining of a chalky smell that I contributed to my computer. Actually it was the disposal. I think the engine burned out or something.  B said it worked fine for him when he disposed of huge chunks of meat. Huh. Me thinks he broke it.

So on Monday night around 7 pm I point out that the sink is starting to back up as there is probably food down there that isn't making it down the drain.  I then go about my business. Such business involved, of course, surfing the internet.  Next thing I hear from him is "Yeah, right. The internet said this was a one step process. Liars!"  I find him under the kitchen sink taking apart the disposal.  I go back to my business.  Fifteen minutes later he is out the door to The Depot to get some parts.  I wonder how this is all going to end.

An hour later I realize he is not back but soon forget as I settle in for some Gossip Girl*.  Not even 18 minutes into the show, I was recruited, albeit reluctantly, to assist in the disposal replacement.  I know better than to argue.  Seems B forgot to get some plumbers putty and it is a NECESSARY ITEM when installing the new disposal you just bought. Yes he bought a new disposal to install. No he has never installed a disposal before.  Changing out of my pjs, putting on boots, and DVRing the rest of Gossip Girl, I go out to Ace to get some putty.  Not knowing how much we need, I go for the 5 lb size.  Anyone need any plumbers putty? Turns out we only really needed about 1/4 of a lb.  Who knew?

So rather than watch Gossip Girl, I installed a new disposal.  And by install, I mean I did the following:
  • held the rim down on the sink so that the putty would stick
  • supervised B's many attempts to screw the disposal in
  • read the directions to B
  • remarked at how close he was getting
  • pondered what would happen if he were any taller - how would he be able to get under the sink at all?
  • changed the battery to the big flashlight
  • tried to charge the other battery
  • got the battery stuck
  • decided not to tell B about the battery
  • handed B the flashlight
  • refrained from talking into the flashlight like it is the principal's microphone from Grease like I normally do when holding that flashlight**
  • ran water to see if the disposal leaked
  • ran the disposal to see if it worked
  • declared it another DIY victory, like the floor
  • declared B very brave for attempting something new and scary
  • told B about the flashlight battery
When all was said and done, we had a new disposal.  B triumphantly declared "two hours later! Not bad!" Meanwhile, having forgotten his entire trip to The Depot, I attempted to correct him by saying "it was only 45 minutes."  Obviously, I was only working on the time frame from when I stopped watching Gossip Girl.

There you have it:

New disposal - I don't know how much money so I will guess $50***
Time spent installing it - 2 hours
Money saved from having it professionally installed - $99
Total money saved - negative $ if B's time is worth anything over $50 an hour, not to mention my time
Family togetherness and DIY projects - priceless

If we can replace a disposal together, there is no stopping us at the new place.  More on those renovations tomorrow.

*How sexy was it when Chuck punched out Jack.  I swooned. I admit it.

**This flashlight seriously looks like that old fashioned principal microphone from Grease, where you press down the button to talk. Same shape and everything minus the button.  Whenever it is anywhere near me I walk around speaking to B through it in my "announcer voice." It never fails to make him laugh.

***Turns out it is really about $75. Not a bad guess.

A Late Night Conversation

Me:  Do you think it is strange that I dreamt about a wrestler in a wheelchair who had a quadriplegic wife, well actually she was an amputee without arms and legs except when she was naked and in a bathtub, then she had all of her limbs?

B:  Yes

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pictures First...Story Second

WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST ALERT!  And quite possibly, longest post of mine, which is saying a lot.

Yes, when I announced I had big news, it was about moving (thank you Andy for pointing out the obvious). However, we are not just moving, we actually bought a house. Our first house together. How sweet, right? Before I bore you with all of the sordid details of how this came about, I thought I would share the photos of the house as of the day it became ours. We plan on making changes, so in addition to giving you a feel for the home, many of these will act as before pictures as well. Enjoy.

In no particular order (God bless Blogger, it appears we are working through these backward), but with explanation:

Starting with the good stuff. This would be our super tiny dishwasher. Really...can you see how tiny it is? I think it will hold two dishes, two bowls and maybe four glasses. It will not hold the crockpot which you know is how I do much of my cooking.  So, pending a kitchen renovation which is LAST ON THE LIST*, I guess I will be hand washing dishes.  HAHAHHA I crack myself up.

This is the back of the house and is the bay window in the kitchen that you will apparently see further down:

This is our lovely screened in back porch.  As you can see, it is not screened in at all and has snow in it.  Good thing they kept that screen door on right? Or how about that lovely little "out hole" for their cat?  What, could he not jump out the huge gaping unscreened window area? Lazy animals.  We want to screen this back in and perhaps later insulate it and make it a more all weather type room.  Of course that is LAST ON THE LIST.  Oh, and I already have fond memories of this porch as B and I sat in the former porch swing, swinging and contemplating the house.  Bastards took that swing.

Isn't this a pretty picture?  This is our laundry room. Ugly and dirty.  B plans on painting it.  I plan on doing something to make it prettier and useful.  Kind of like my sister-in-law's but on a smaller scale.  Of course, that plan is LAST ON THE LIST.  Don't know if you can tell but we have two electrical boxes.  One can plug into a backup generator outside. The main one, apparently is big enough to provide electricity for our neighbor so says inspection guy. We won't be doing that. Sorry neighbor.

This is one end of our "partially finished" basement.  At first I thought those were built in bookcases (they are not). Then my Mom pointed out the two different floor patterns.  She suggested it was at one time a dry bar. I figured it to be a dance floor and started imitating dancing while putting your drink on the bookcase. No one was impressed.

This is the other end of the basement in all of its glory. Yes the ceilings are really low.  Yes they are that shiny. I don't know why either.  Many parties were had in this basement, I just know it.  Our plan is to make it into a game room or party/TV/game room.  Of course that is LAST ON THE LIST.

Okay, inexplicably we are on the second floor of the house and looking into my huge linen closet.  Upon closer inspection you will note that the top two shelves are smaller than the bottom shelves.  Then you will explain to me why that is.  I suppose that if they were all even, you would not be able to reach things in the way back of the top shelves, but I still can't without a stepladder, so it doesn't matter to me either way.** It just looks goofy.

Great! Now we are all the way up on the third floor a/k/a the future Dani's Big Room. As you can see this is totally unfinished, uninsulated, unheated and not fit for use. However, I dream big when I see this space. I see it as a future office/scrapbooking/contesting/blogging/internet surfing/napping room.  Right now it is rather hard getting up the stairs without bending over and almost falling down them, but that does not diminish my dream. Of course, that just makes it LAST ON THE LIST (sensing a pattern yet?).  This space is what sold me on the house.  Big dreams, I have.

From another angle:

Looking up the treacherous stairs. At the top you have to turn right to go up about three more and because it is so sloped you really have to bend down and there is no guardrail.

Back to the second floor a/k/a where all the bedrooms are.  This is the back smallest bedroom. Snazzy right? That door leads to a small balcony that the inspector advised us not to use during the summer months as it is made with tar and we could either (a) put our foot through it or (b) burn ourselves.  So fun!  Do you wonder why the lock to the door is way down low?  No, short people did not live here. We surmise it was so if some superhuman scaled our brick wall, got on to the balcony and decided to break the window to get in, they would not be able to reach the lock.  However, I am quite sure that they could just then enter through the broken window, but what do I know? That is going to be one of the first things to be replaced. Safety first!

This is the master bedroom and the least offending color scheme of all of the bedrooms.  Allegedly this will be my office, but that is still up in the air right now.

This is our shower. Can you even see how tiny it is? We could practically be showering in the dishwasher.  I stepped inside and thought (a) don't gain any weight and (b) never get pregnant or its just baths for you lady!

And maybe in that last shot you couldn't really see the tile or get the full effect. It is orange.  Really orangey peachy with that bad paint job. I think it will look better with some neutral paint.  And that toilet? Huge because it is original to the house. 1940s toilet means some power flushing. Watch out!

How scary is this bedroom? Or more importantly, the drapes? I swear those were not in there when we visited. This was the daughter's room. She had a complicated six letter name that I cannot remember but that started with an A.  Anyhow, this room is all kinds of scary right now.  And I would like to point out that per the purchase agreement, they were to leave us window treatments. Pretty sure we didn't mean THESE WINDOW TREATMENTS. Maybe we should have been more specific.  Meanwhile, I should have told them to leave that swing...

Or maybe this one is the most atrocious? It's a toss up.  What you can barely see to the left is the red shelves and behind the door? White shelves. A bright blue room with white stars, white shelves and, for some reason, one red one. Make sense? Didn't think so. This was their cats' room.  I kid you not. All that was in there was a cat bed and a scratching post thing. Our cats will not have their own room. Unless they want the basement. They can have that until it is renovated.

How pretty is this door? It is at the top of the stairs of the second floor where the bedrooms are.  You can kind of see the bathroom through the glass. What you cannot see is the other side which was painted white and which apparently they used to keep their dog from going downstairs a lot because he CHEWED HALF THE DOOR OFF.  Yep, this has to be replaced.  Good thing my uncle deals in antiques and gets old doors all of the time.

Finally, we are back on the first floor. Here is our living room,  No window treatments left in this room. Thanks. Just the area where all of the neighborhood can see in.  Yes, that is a real fireplace. And the windows are original to the house.

Hard to see but that is a small back room off of the living room which was used and will still be used as a TV room. I also call this B's room because the big TV with all of the games is going in there and you know how he likes to game.  Give him his laptop and I don't see him leaving this room ever.

Looking from the TV room into our kitchen at our refrigerator:

The kitchen.  Thank God they left us extra paint for those cabinets (country baby blue - is there such a thing?). Worst set up ever. That empty space used to be for a fridge, but now it is for nothing and there is a total lack of cabinet space and counter top space. Renovation needed but, say it with me, LAST ON THE LIST.  The floor is interesting because although it is wood, it is a different kind than the wood floor in the dining room, which you will see shortly.  And that stove to the right? From 1955. The oven is TINY.  But we are keeping it for now. It looks cool.  I will let you know how the baking comes out in it.

Another view:

The big bay window with seating in the kitchen (you saw the outside of this in the first picture).  The cats are so going to love this:

Stairs from first to second floor:

Glass door between living room and small foyer.  As you can see a pane is missing in lower right. This must have happened when they moved as it was there both times we saw the house. Again, thanks guys!

Foyer and front door:

And finally, last but not least, the dining room:

So that's the house folks.  It will be changing slowly, but surely.  And even though it sounds like everything is LAST ON THE LIST, we have a lot to do to keep us busy and I will be updating as we go along.  

It may sound as though I think this house is awful, but I assure you I do not. Luckily B and I were able to see past the color schemes and the owners' furniture and see what we could make it.  Together.

We can't wait.

*Everything big is LAST ON THE LIST due to the money factor.  However, it does get ridiculous when talking about plans to hear that said almost every single time.

**Yep, today at the store I had to have some guy get some iced tea for me that was in the back of the cooler. I am not that short, but I sure felt it. He didn't seem very happy to be helping.  Thanks anyway random tall dude.

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