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Posts Tagged: 'house'

Aug. 7th, 2019

Home again, Home again, jiggity jig...

Ok, so *I* haven't left home.

But finally, after a year, my brother *has* left my home and moved into his own.

Which means, that I once again can get on my computer, uninterrupted, without feeling like there's someone watching over my shoulder, questioning my every move.

Let me tell you, it gets old fast.

So, over the next week or so, expect a few blog posts, randomly, catching you up on everything that's happened since my last post.

Until then, I have painting to finish in the living room.



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May. 18th, 2017

Adventures in home ownership.

Dear Leo-

When I flip back the rug to reveal the cellar door, since I need to go down into i and check a breaker, I realise it's a new, unexplored patch of floor, but really buddy, I don't need you standing on said door.

There's a reason you were babygated with Caena into the kitchen. And that's because the cellar really is no place you need to investigate.

Sorry, buddy, but its not happening.

*sigh*

Note to self- don't run the hose to water the garden *and* the washer at the same time. The well pump doesn't like it and will quit, requiring an apparent breaker reset to get it to start up again.


I'm thinking we really need a higher horsepower pump, honestly. Water pressure isn't the best, and we have no idea how old it is- note to self, look into the paperwork on that, so we know.

Yeah, that was fun.


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Jan. 9th, 2017

So, we got a wee bit of snow on Sat...

Christmas lights left up just for the snow.


And I was up at 530 am that morning. Yeah. Hey, it was our first snow at Five Oaks and I really wanted to see it. We decided to turn the christmas lights on for awhile, when it was coming down and I got this absolutely stunning photo of our Phoenix, a Red Oak, in all his glory. Just gorgeous.


Snow!

Caena and I walked aways down the driveway, just looking around. It was so eeriely quiet and just beautiful.


Caena is absolutely loving the snow.

She, naturally, absolutely loves the snow.

Bittersweet

The bittersweet vines and berries made for some gorgeous shots too. And it's free food for the birds, who were going nuts at the suet feeders. And still are today.

Sunset on the first snow of the year

After the snow stopped, we had roughly 5". The sun came out and made for a lovely sunset.


Sunday, we woke up to no hot water. Apparently our tankless water heater decided to die overnight. Hrm. I'd say thank gods for the home warranty, but we still haven't heard back from them as to when a tech will be out to look it over, and we have no idea how much it's going to cost. *sigh* Too bad it didn't wait until tax refund time. At least we still have cold water and a stove to heat it on. Heh.



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Oct. 17th, 2016

*dusts hands*

Dear Suburban Propane-

When I tell you we decided to go with Blossman Gas because they are local and literally 10 minutes away, don't try and tell you are too.

No, you are not, you are 30-40 minutes away. That's not local to me.

Don't try and tell me you're cheaper either. I priced things out. I listened to what the seller had to say about their experience with your company. That, more than your claim of '30 years of service at this house', says a lot to me.

You never called me back about a pick up date and just randomly showed up. You're still 30-40 minutes away. Your tank is still not certified*, and still not in compliance**.

Yes, they are a competitor, but guess what? You don't exactly have a good track record with at least two owners of this property now.

Thank you for finally picking up your tank and getting it off my property.


* Certification ran out last year. It has not been inspected and thus, recertified in over a year now. New tanks from Blossman are 12 year certification, and are in much, much better shape.

** It is not 3-5 ft from the nearest ingress to the house, ie, the outside cellar access and the sump pump drain line. AND there's an old burrow directly behind it that leads up under the house. Propane sinks and looks for an ignition source- sump pump and dehumidifier are less than 6 ft down, and less than 3 ft away through the outside cellar access. Yeah. New tanks are now 8-9 ft away from any under house access points.



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Sep. 26th, 2016

Well ok then.

So adulted today and called about taking over the lease on the propane tank and getting a refill. (We're running low, we think, and haven't been using it much, which makes cooking dinners creative.)

Only to be told that it's not the propane company that we were told the sellers used, tank and may well in fact be ours. That they in fact only have records of doing service work on our very cool vintage propane stove, but not any records for ever filling up the tank for the sellers.

Well.

That would explain why the seller mentioned how the propane company they claimed to use never performed maintenance or upkeep on the tank- it belongs to you, silly! (Well, now us, apparently. I told Maximilliean I was going to get some white exterior paint, repaint it and stencil Five Oaks on it. He laughed at me.)

So tomorrow, I get to adult again and go into town to fill out paperwork to set up an account and get what appears to be *our very own tank* refilled. Yay me.

And now I'm wondering, who really *did* fill the tank before the close on the house then, if this company didn't...

Curiouser and curiouser...

Edit- Turns out, there *is* a decal on this tank for a company out of Roanoke or Lynchburg. So since we're wanting to go with a local company, after we get that account set up, we'll have to call this company and say, come get your tank. Convienently, the sellers never mentioned that.}:/


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Aug. 15th, 2016

Day 15 of the #CTMonthInTheLife Challenge...

The prompt for today is "Rest"...

The #prompt for day 15 of the #ctmonthinthelife  #igchallenge  by @createandthrive is #rest... What better place to take a break than on my very own #frontporch , usually with a #pet or two, in this case, with Morrigan and Caena.  Sometimes you can hear a

What better place to take a break, than on my very own front porch, with Morrigan and Caena. Miss Sassy deigned to not come outside with us, however briefly. This porch is absolutely perfect for listening to the birds, watching storms roll in, watching it rain, occasionally hearing a train or far away traffic. A great place to relax and a long time in the coming.



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Jul. 26th, 2016

This will never get old...

This will never get old.  #nofilter #fiveoaks #sunset #summer #peaksofotter #bedfordcountyva #dantesspirit</a>


Hard to believe we've been here 3 months. It's still like a vaction and not something we actually *own*. Heh.



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Jun. 22nd, 2016

Creating habitats...

So the Red Oak out front is dead. Dead as a doorknob dead. But it's huge and solid,so we're leaving it alone to essentially rot in place, eventually.

There are a few reasons for this-

One, there are Indigo Buntings nesting in a hollowed out knot hole in the end of one big branch.

Two, the woodpeckers- Pileated and Yellow belly Sapsucker so far, *love* this tree. So do alot of other birds, such as Nuthatches, the Goldfinches, Brown headed Cowbirds, Crows, Grackles, Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Purple Finches, Mourning Doves and so many more.

Three, there are Common Five Lined Skinks living on and in this tree. Along with all sorts of other insects that provide food for the Skinks and said birds.

The area beneath it had apparently at one point, already been a garden. The shape was there, but the shed bark and Pokeberry Weed (which is staying because it makes a nifty natural dye), along with Thistle and a Yucca were all that was left.

We added good dirt and planted swamp milkweed seeds, Mammoth sunflower seeds, various poppy seeds and transplanted some irises we found when we removed all of the Nandina from around the Peach tree (and found 6 other peach trees!) around the back of the house, as well as my Yarrow 'Paprika'. Also planted and scattered some black oil sunflower seeds as well.

Yesterday, while walking down to get mail, I spotted some milkweed growing along the edge of the hayfield, between where it starts and the mowed edge of the side of the driveway starts.



Little, thin, straggly milkweed. So not what it should be this late in the season. So, this morning, Caena and I went back down the driveway, trowel in hand, and dug up as much as I could find. Ok, so I only dug up about 6 plants out of the dozen or so that I spotted this time down. Heh.

They are now transplanted into the Habitat Tree's bed. They're a little wilty right now, but they're small enough that it won't take long for them to settle in and perk back up, especially with the rain we got yesterday, are supposed to get today and tomorrow.

The butterflies are so going to love our yard next year. Heh.


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May. 31st, 2016

Five Oaks



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We've been here just over a month now, and it still feels like a vacation.

Fezzik! Our 400+yr old White Oak. What a glorious Tree.  #nofilter  #oak #oaktree #whiteoak #fiveoaks #home #garden #dantesspirit


Well, with the exception of yard maintenance.}:P Even then, there's a huge sense of accomplishment when we stand back and look at the fruit trees, the roses, the black leaved crepe myrtle, the day lilies, the irises, the asiatic lilies and more that we've already planted and see how well they're settling in and flourishing just within days, as well as how nice the grass looks when it's freshly cut .

This place hasn't had anyone living in it properly, full time, taking care of the land and the plants and the trees as they need and should be, for a very, very long time. As I've said before, we are apparently only the 4th owners of the property and as far as we can tell, outside of the first owners, it was really only used as a vacation home for much of it's 76+ year life.

But slowly, slowly, we are bringing the heart back into this land. The previous owners did an excellent job at updated the interior while keeping the original features and character as well as put in some great bones and framework for spectacular garden spaces, and now, it's our turn to help the land reach it's full potential.

Already have a good start on the road towards getting a bird sanctuary designation, common five lined skinks, red headed woodpecker feeding ground and home to various insects. So, until it becomes unstable, we're leaving it alone.

Meet some 'neighbors'- not really neighbors in the sense that they live right next door, more like across the road and up the next one aways. They've been here 50 years and love this area too. Watched the front hay field be cut yesterday. The guy spotted a fawn, stopped, picked it up and moved it out of the way. Then waited while it ran for the brush line, bleating for its mom, before starting the tractor up and finishing. When he was done, he waved and told us to have a good weekend. People are so *nice* around here. It's quite the change and we're still getting used to it.

Tomorrow, we actually make out first mortgage payment. Maybe then, it'll become real, that yes, this *is* in fact our home now. Heh. But first, a final blood count check for Miss Sassy.

Meanwhile, today, I'm in my office, admiring the view, smelling the fresh cut hay and getting ready to list new items in the Big Cartel and Square shops, while watching thunderheads build over the Peaks of Otter.

May. 10th, 2016

Moving... And coming Home.

So a little over a week and a half ago, we closed on our new house. It's a wonderful 1940 bungalow on 1.73 acres with absolutely no neighbors nearby. The nearest neighbor is easily a quarter mile or more away.

After we closed, we brought Dante, Max and Aries' urns over and they were the very first things to be unpacked in our new home. They look right at home on the mantle, surrounded by their photos.

We then spent the next 3.5 days actually moving the rest of our stuff. We are still trying to figure out how two 15 ft UHaul truck loads and then some fit into a 700 sqft townhouse. After we got the big things, like the bookcases, the buffet, etc, I spent the next week, going back and forth, hauling odds and ends from the townhouse to the house and cleaning it. Last Friday, we made the final trip, grabbing the bikes and closed the door on the townhouse for good.

Now I'm trying to figure out where everything fits in this 1266 sqft home of ours. The living room is really the only room that's 90% setup as it'll be. I'm in the process of arranging the studio/office, it's about 50% of the way there. Heh. Then there's all the books to unpack and put back up on the bookshelves, all the photos and prints to figure out where they will hang, some painting to do...

Oh and mowing the nearly 1 acre of open grass. Yeah. I accidentally broke our new lawnmower the day after we just put it together, 3 days after we bought it. So we had to take that back and exchange it. So 75% of the yard is mowed so far.}:P

So far, it's been like Christmas. Everyday, we discover something new here at Five Oaks (I did mention that the property was named }:P ). Sunday, it was that we have grapes! Today, it was that we may actually have Mulberry trees! And the stars on a clear night! Wow. And the frogs and bullfrogs in the ponds below us... It honestly still feels like a vacation.

It's an itty bitty Peach! Woo!  #nofilter  #fruittree #fruittrees #peach #garden #fiveoaks #dantesspirit
Itty Bitty Peach!


There's a Catbird nest with 4 eggs in the cedar bush directly outside the back door, so we moved the walkway out further, to give the birds a touch of privacy. Morrigan has discovered them and now camps out in the windows on the back porch. Free cat TV. Heh.


Two owners ago, they buried a beloved cat in the back corner, complete with stone marker. The previous owners scattered the ashes of their beloved German Sheps there as well. So the plan is to turn that corner into a memorial garden. We brought Puck, Rue and Nyx's stones with us and will be placing them there, as well as selecting nice memorial stones from my collection for Dante, Max and Aries.


Still need to plant my Irises along the front of the front porch, got the compost bin set up, now need to lay out the garden area, plant the rest of our plants we brought with us and figure out where we want to put our new apple and pear trees and the future pecan trees we want to add, as well as clear the right back 'field/wild brush' area as well, thin out some of the sumac/paradise trees and bittersweet vines trying to take over in that area. Oh, and get the ivy off of Fezzik, our beloved 400+ year old White Oak next to the house. Speaking of irises, someone who lived here absolutely *loved* irises. They are everywhere! And in colors I didn't have.


So, as of right now...

Bird tally so far- Cardinals, Titmouse, Nuthatch, Catbird, Redwinged Blackbird, Goldfinches, Purple/House Finches, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, Robins, Carolina Wrens, Sparrows, Chickadees, Pileated Woodpecker, Indigo Buntings...

All the birds at the townhouse and then some.}:P Seen Crows around but not in the yard yet. Canadian Geese and goslings in the field in front of us and a Redshouldered Hawk soaring overhead.

AND a Crane/Heron (couldn't *quite* tell which) flew over from the ponds as well.

Fruit/Nut tally so far- Plums, Peaches, Apples, Pear, Black Walnuts, Blackberries, Strawberries- the 5 plants I brought with me are producing- GRAPES, Quince, potentially Cherries and maybe Mulberries too.

In the near future, we want to get chickens as well. And look into solar power.


I'd say we are well on our way to being as self-sufficient as we possibly can be.}:P


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Mar. 29th, 2016

Changes are afoot.

Yes, I've been slack at keeping up the blog. It's been a rather busy couple of weeks. Toward the beginning of March, we decided to house hunt. It was an exhausting experience and wasn't fun at all. Looking at house you know aren't near large enough, or have too close of neighbors. Six houses in and I was ready to give up.

You note I said *was*.

We are currently in the process of buying a house.

House inspection was last Friday, the house is structurally sound and has very minor things that the seller shouldn't have any issues with correcting. And even if they won't, they're not deal breakers, we'll just do them ourselves. To that end, the tentative closing date is the end of April.

No matter what the house hunting/buying TV shows may show you, buying a house is not a straight forward process. They cut *a lot* out in the name of time and expediency.

After 9/11, they passed a series of laws regarding the transfer of funds. Since we are being gifted the 20% down for the house, we have to show *exactly* where that money is coming from- both from the person who is giving it to us, via their bank statements showing the funds are/were available at the time, copies of the check(s) sent to us, statements from our bank showing that it had been deposited AND the deposit slips.

Loan companies want to know where *anything* over $500.00 came from. They also want 2-3 months worth of banking logs- not statements, *logs* from the bank itself, showing every transaction. They also want a month's worth of pay stubs to compare against the bank logs. Obstensively, this is to prove that yes, you get paid what you say you do and no, you have no liens, or other debts, aside from utilities and rent or credit card bills, coming out (like child support, IRS payments, etc). If you can't give them the documentation they want, it's a red flag and the loan may not get approved. After you get them all the paperwork, hopefully in a timely manner, it can still take anywhere from 30 to 40 DAYS for the loan to process.

That is where we are right now.

We have been told by both the loan officer and our realtor, we are unusual home buyers. I guess because not only did we know exactly what we were looking for and what we would and would not compromise on, but in the terms of knowing in exactly what we want to pay per month, regardless of the fact that we actually qualified for $90,000 MORE than the house we are buying. We simply didn't want a $1,000+ house payment. We wanted to be house rich AND comfortable money wise as well. But also because we've gotten them every bit of paperwork they asked for in a very timely manner, as in, within 24-48 hours. Apparently, some people take weeks. Hrm.

So as a result, we are *well* within the limits of our debt to income ratio. Most people apparently go for a house at the very top of what they are prequalified for, which is what leads to problems. We didn't want to go that route, having been there, done that, once already 20+ years ago.

I'll talk more about the house at a later date, but suffice it to say- it has nearly everything we wanted, especially in terms of land, with the exception of only being one bathroom instead of a minimum of one and a half. We did good.

The best part, besides the nearly 2 acres of relatively flat yard? The house is named. And it's a wonderful, wonderful name.


* * * * * * *




In other news, after Mysticon, I bought myself a 7ft adjustable triloom. It finally arrived a little over a week ago and I went to work immediately making a 6ft shawl using Unplanned Peacock Morphic Peacock Sock in the Fountain colorway, dark to light.



Unlike the 3ft triloom and my rigid heddle loom, this one requires a lot of standing, bending and walking back and forth. This was 3 hours worth of work right there. Mainly because Miss Sassy kept laying right in front of where I was working (that should have been our first hint that she wasn't well).



But after a few days of working on it for a couple hours at a time, I finished the shawl now known as Water. On the loom, itself was gorgeous as is, and I couldn't wait to remove it and finish the top edge.



Needless to say, it's stunning off the loom. I will have a very hard time parting with this one, methinks, but that is why I create things like this- if I love them, I know someone else will love them as well. This was before the ends were woven in and the top edge finished off. The drape and flow was quite lovely. I plan to get more of the UPP Morphic yarns in the other colors and create more like this.



I even had enough of each color to weave a 3ft version, but light to dark, which will go to my mom as a Mother's Day gift this year. I also had enough to do 2 more 3ft shawls, one in light to medium, the other in dark to medium. They, and the large Water, will be available at the Olde Liberty Fiber Faire the 3rd week of April.


* * * * * * *



Speaking of Miss Sassy, last Thursday morning, we had to take her to the vet. Turns out, her red blood count was extremely low. Normally cats have a count of 40-45, her's was TEN. The vet said, and I quote, "It was not enough to sustain life." She was literally dying in front of us and we didn't know why.

They had to do a blood transfusion and tests. Ruled out a stroke (which is what we thought was going on), diabetes, kidney issues, thyroid issues and leukemia. That left a flea/tick/mosquitoe/biting fly borne disaese- hemobartella.

I blame the neighbors next door for throwing *bread* out into not only their back yard, but over the fence into ours (when I find it, it gets disposed of immediately), the result of which has attracted rats, whom have taken up residence next door but come under the fence to my side for the bird seed I no longer put out. Rats carry fleas. We've had a bad flea issue for the last year, when we hadn't had hardly *any* in the many years prior. So I blame the neighbors.

Miss Sassy is recovering quite nicely. Still a bit skinnier than we'd prefer, but she is 17 yrs old, so never really was a big Siamese. She's fighting the meds when dosed, which is always a good sign, very mouthy when we're getting dinner or lunch or really, *any* food in the kitchen. Needles us for her breakfast, then finishes Morrigan's when she walks away. And she's purring again. Almost normal.

Speaking of blood transfusion- feline blood only lasts 60 days, so most vets do not keep any on hand. Most feline blood types are compatible, I believe, with the others, but the need for feline donors is great. If you have a cat that is of a good size (over 10 lbs) and is healthy, do yourself, your friends with cats and your neighbors with cats, a favor and go get your cat blood typed and registered as a donor.

We almost lost Miss Sassy because we almost did not have a donor nearby. Thankfully, we got lucky and found one. But you simply never know when your cat or someone else's cat might suddenly need blood.

So go get your cat registered as a blood donor.}:)



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Jan. 4th, 2016

Hullo, 2016

I'll try to do better on the blogging front, I promise.

I've already decided that Facebook makes me angry too much, sometimes daily, and as a result, my whole day gets thrown out of whack. So, cutting back on Facebook is a definite thing. Which means, more gets posted here instead, even if it's just a random thought, scatter shot type of posting, its still a posting, yes? Heh.

Christmas was fun. And I mean that sarcastically.

We woke up to a completely flat tire on Christmas day. Then we found out the hard way, that all five tires- to include the spare had a locking lug nut on them. And we did not have the wheel lock key to remove them. Or the proper sized socket set and a breaking bar to force them off. Yeah.




Those 5 things right there cost us over $300.00, since we ended up having to buy two new tires instead, as the flat was not repairable and putting a new (the spare) tire on it with a worn tire, might have resulted in damage to the transfer case, which would cost over $3,000.00 to repair. Merry Christmas to us! Ugh.

Then, yesterday, we took down the Christmas lights and discovered that half the new net lights we bought (and ended up actually hating the colors on) no longer work, half had gone out a couple days ago, but it was wet and rainy and we weren't messing with them in the rain, - good thing we got them at half price. They went into the trash. New Year's Day, discovered that a portion of our strand of white lights we use on the porch was out. Closer examination after taking them down, it was discovered that an entire bulb had been removed- read, chewed completely out by the wildlife. Found the bulb section on the ground when we went to look for it. Yeah.



The first quarter or so works, then there's about 50-75 lights that don't, then the rest work. It's a 250 bulb strand. Yeah. Might end up using it for the dwarf alberta spruce, then using the unlit section to cross to the porch, then the rest on the porch, assuming we're here next holiday season to put lights up. *After* we electrical tape the cut section off. Otherwise, the plan is to try to find a white LED strand instead.

We set a house hunting goal line. And that's October-November of this year, with an eye towards hopefully being in a new home by Christmas if not New Year's. So, between now and then, that means figuring out what we absolutely can cut out (going out to eat so much, for starters) and instead put towards savings to build up that nest egg faster, as well as pay the credit cards down and potentially off completely, and figuring out how to build the husband's credit record up more. He's got a reasonably good credit score right now, but ideally, we'd like it to be a lot higher and a great score instead.

We've been narrowing down areas we're interested in potentially looking at houses in, as well as styles of house, size of both house and land, number of bedrooms, etc. We also have a 'theoretical' price range - well, what *we* would be interested in paying per month towards a house, if it's less, awesome, if it ends up being more than we'd ideally like to pay, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Research is your friend.}:P Still a long way to go though.

In the mean time, I have just under two months to finish the hand embroidered silk scarves I've got planned, the steampunk/clockwork jewelry pieces in the works and the last few themed gaming bags, all for Mysticon. Which is another reason I've decided to drastically cut back on Facebook time. Heh. Distractions are very distracting and time consuming.

To that end, these are in various stages of progress...



Habotai silk scarf, hand dyed and being hand embroidered with an octopus tentacle. Have another ready to go when this is finished that will be hand embroidered with clockwork gears.



The third steampunk/clockwork brooch in the process of being beaded. Also have plans for a steampunk/clockwork charm style bracelet and a couple necklaces.


Need to weave the shells for at least 5 more themed gaming bags and then, do a couple dry runs and see which display set up works best. And put price tags on everything still. Heh.

And as a heads up, sometime over the next few weeks, all gaming bags will be moved to the Square shop. Each will be an individual listing with multiple photos. It'll free up space in the Big Cartel shop and better display the bags themselves.

Fun times. Guess I better go get started, eh?



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Feb. 11th, 2013

So tired.

It's been essentially nonstop since Friday. And not going to be much better for this week either.

Friday, I packed up nearly every book in the bedroom. 7 boxes worth. And we're not talking small boxes either. One I couldn't move by myself and neither could Mark, it took both of us.

Then I moved 2 3 shelf, 3 foot long bookcases, 5 shelf book case, both end tables, the pseudoclock/bookshelf, and miscellaneous odds and ends.

When he got home, we moved the last box, and he took apart the bed. That night, we slept on the mattress set on the floor- after vacuuming the carpet for a last time again.

Sat saw us moving the mattress set out, after we took the drawers out of the dresser and chest of drawers, then we moved them, the upstairs TV and cable box to the center of the room, covered with plastic and primed the walls and ceiling with Kilz. The outside walls were done twice. The areas were the mold/mildew was, was done in three coats. Luckily the topcoats of actual color will also be mildew resistant. If that doesn't stop it, nothing will.

Then the dressers were moved and the mattresses put back down for the night.

Sunday, I took Caena over to the InLaws so the dust and potential mold/mildew spores that may have been in the carpet wouldn't irritate her when we were tearing the carpet out. She had a puppy play date in other words. She's looking immensely better and it's only been 2 weeks since we got rid of the mold/mildew. Note to self- give her a bath today.

When I got home, Mark had moved the mattresses and started in on the carpet. 3/4 was gone already, bagged up and out of the house. Between the 2 of us it took another 3 hours to get the rest out, get the staples out of the floor, pull up the tack strips and nails, then scrub the floor twice, mop it again for good measure, moving the dressers, TV and cable box twice in the process and then, finally dropping the mattresses back on the floor again.

Needless to say, the cats are freaked out right now, especially Aries.

This week, I paint the room. I like to paint, so no biggie doing it by myself. Mark will help with the ceiling. (Valspar Waverly Classics Blue Sail for the wall, Nordic Blue for the trim and Blue Boy for the ceiling, from Lowes. )

Sometime this summer, we'll see about renting a floor sander and sanding the wood floors up there, they are that screwed up in a few areas. Doing it by hand is out of the question. Then we'll restain and seal it to match the downstairs and hallway.

Then we get to do the back bedroom. Whee fun. If we ever own our own house again, we'll be pros at this.

I don't think my body remembers how NOT to ache or be stiff anymore.}:/ And to top it off, yesterday I woke up with a slightly sore throat. *sigh* And thanks to being so worn out, I'm constantly seeing Max out of the corner of my eye, laying on the floor right behind my chair. It's disconcerting to say the least.



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Feb. 20th, 2012

The Kitchen Project, part 2

So after we finished the ceiling, we started on the walls.



Valspar Signature Colors, National Trust for Historic Preservation Colors, Green Tea Leaves, # 5004-1c in semigloss for the walls, 2 coats and Valspar Signature Colors, Waverly Classics, Smooth Pebble, #WV36006 in semigloss, 2 coats for the trim.

The walls are actually lighter than they look in some photos, more of a sage green, and everything reflects the light beautifully as well as compliments the other colors.

More! )
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Feb. 17th, 2012

The Kitchen Project, part 1

So, last Friday, we started on the last stages of the kitchen remodel. If you remember, last August, the back wall had to be rebuilt, and the backdoor was replaced.

At that time, we went ahead and primed the walls and ceiling for painting. And that's where it stayed until this month.

So, last Friday we had friends over and they helped move every appliance we couldn't move by ourselves out of the kitchen and into the living room. Sat we prepped for painting- cleaning up any dust, touching up the primer, that sort of thing.

PEEKCTURES! )
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Feb. 15th, 2012

Busy, busy

So.

Kitchen stuffs...

New flooring... done, completely. Last square was laid tonight.

New backsplash... done, completely. Last fiddly bit of brushed stainless tile was cut and placed tonight.

Painting... well, ceiling is done. Most of the trim is done- need to finish one window (has quite a few individual panes to edge in), then the short wall next to the counter and cabinets, as well as above the cabinets needs finishing. Should be done tomorrow.

Cabinet fronts are painted, drawer fronts done, new pulls in place.

Tomorrow I finish the wall and window trim. Then prime and paint the ceiling fan body and hopefully start on the blades. The cabinet doors have 2 coats of rimer and if it doesn't rain tomorrow like they're calling for, the first coat of paint will be put on them.

And the backdoor needs to be primed and painted. But that can wait until next week, honestly.

Then we need to get some door stop trim molding for around the baseboards, get under cabinet lights (need to order from online because the ones we want, aren't available in the store), caulk the edges of the backsplash to 'hide/cover' the cut edges and we'll be completely finished.

Oh and a new threshold between the kitchen and living room.

So. Hoping by Saturday to be completely finished. We're in the home stretch, just a few minor details left.

Photos forthcoming, starting tomorrow, in several posts, of the process beginning to end.

So ready to be finished. Well, with the kitchen anyway. Then I get to paint the bathroom! Heh. It's a small room, so won't take but a few hours to do.

After that, it'll be fall before we tackle the bedrooms.}:P


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Feb. 14th, 2012

Daring Cooks Challenge- Frying Patties

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

Yes, in the midst of tearing my kitchen apart for painting (posts forthcoming detailing that), I still managed to do this Challenge.



Ok, so I only managed to do one recipe and cheated on the other patty.}:P I've been wanting to make Potato Latkes for some time now, so that's what I made, along with some store bought hamburgers with applewood smoked bacon and cheddar cheese in them (they're great for frying inside, not so much on the grill as they tend to stick.)


The Latkes were delicious and in perusing the Challenge recipes, I noticed they're really not much different from Potato Rostis, the bug difference being one has onions whereas the other doesn't.

However, served with fried mushrooms and a rich mushroom gravy, they made a very satisfying dinner the night before we had friends over to help us move appliances out of the kitchen- after we made them dinner of course.}:P I also topped my Potato Latke with a dollop of sour cream.

And now, 4 days later, I have my kitchen back, it's 90% finished- a few odds and ends to do, nothing big anymore- well, for now, until we refinish the countertop- so I can get back in there and try more versions of fried patties}:P Particularly that zucchini one...

More! )

Jan. 17th, 2012

Drive by posting...



Shiny! New bathroom floor! We still need to get the rest of the old silicon off the front of the bottom of the tub and then put down new silicon aout the edge but the floor is done, including the shiny new transition plate in the doorway.

After we finish the kitchen, we'll be working on deciding on paint colors for the bathroom. Haven't even though about it yet. Then, working on the back bedroom- getting rid of the old corner desk, getting a new buffet, table and bookcase for it, after we tear out the carpet, paint and refinish the floor. THEN we can tackle the bedroom as we'll have a place to put the bed, dressers, and bookcases in there.

I expect by the end of next year we might be done. LOL.



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Nov. 30th, 2011

It's a hot beverage kind of day.



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With or without an 'extra' added ingredient...

Still haven't replied to that last email. Not sure I ever will, honestly. But it's now residing at the back of my mind, ready to bound to the forefront when I'm not paying attention. Quite honestly, I'm not sure how to politely respond.

Had a breakthrough on my dad's side of the family. I found his birth dad's grave site and that he was essentially told a tall tale by his birth mom as to when and where he died. Even have a photo of the headstone now too. So that was pretty cool. Also turns out his adoptive father comes from one of the first Pioneer families in New York, and a very illustrious family at that. There was even a book written about his 6th Great Grandfather and his descendants, which fills in a lot of gaps as far as dates for me too. That was pretty cool.



Kitchen remodel has come to a standstill (which is fine, honestly, as we don't have the money to buy the paint right now anyway). I was primer coating the ceiling when some of the decorative finish (sanded paint like stucco stuff on the ceiling) start peeling off over by the sink. So we figured we'd scrape it down and just paint over it. After all, who looks at a ceiling that much? Well, besides me.

Well, started scraping and found... well, see for yourself-





Yeah. Seems there was STILL a leak somewhere upstairs in the bathroom. I'd originally thought the water staining on the ceiling (not the back wall, that's old) was from when the faucet was leaking under the bathroom sink 2-3 months ago. But when I peeled the finish back and it dripped on me, uh, no that wasn't from 2-3 months ago, this was recent.

Plumbers came yesterday afternoon. Looked under the tub, then pulled the toilet and found that the flange where the toilet sits and where the tub drain connects (which in turn connects to the sewer stack), is cracked. And it needs replacing sooner rather than later. It's not got a temp. fix on it, but that won't last forever.

So now, the landlord needs to figure out when would be a good time to do this because one of two things needs to happen- A- the floor in the bathroom gets pulled up or B- the ceiling in the kitchen gets cut open.

Either way will leave us without a working bathroom for at least a day, so someone else will need to be here while they work in case one of us needs to run to the gas station to use the bathroom. The week he's currently considering doing this may be the week the InLaws are in town for Christmas.

Yeah, fun times, I tell ya.

The only good thing about this is that we may end up going ahead and laying the new tiles in the bathroom at that time too and getting it out of the way now rather than wait until next spring/summer.




Was looking over my sales stats in my Artfire, Zibbet and Big Cartel shops, trying to see if I could justify still paying out $25/month for all three shops, to figure out if sales were still good enough to warrant keeping them all. And quite frankly, they aren't.

Last sale in my Zibbet shop was February 2011. No sales since March. Costs my $10/mon.

Last sale in my Big Cartel shop was March 2011. No sales since April. Costs me $10/mon.

Last sale in my Artfire shop - not including trades as they really bring me no money- was May 2011. No sales since June. Costs me $6/mon.

So. I've had to make some hard choices and one of those will be to drop my Big Cartel shop back down to free status. That means I have to chose 3 of my best items to showcase there, starting in January.

I'll give Zibbet until Sept 2012. That will be exactly one year. Then, if sales haven't picked up to where they are at least paying for the shop, I'll decide from there whether to keep throwing money at it, or to close it.

Artfire is the cheapest and I've been there the longest/ have sort of a customer base, as well as friends, so I'm definitely keeping it. I am NOT going back to Etsy. That's a given.



In other news, I've listed 5 new kumihimo cuffs this week and have 2 more that'll be listed by tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll blog the last 4. After that I'm taking a day or two break from beading/weaving and will have 2 more sometime next week.

After those 2 are finished, I have plans for at least 2 more and a necklace. That should beef up my shops somewhat, I would think. Might run a % off sale for a few weeks in December.



Have decided to not do goodie bags/boxes this year, except for immediate family, as I'll have to send Yule gifts to them anyway- most of which I already have. Food stuffs has gotten too expensive right now, money is tight, the economy sucks, yadda yadda.

I'll still be making my mom's Captain Crunch crack Candy and maybe some sort of cookies, but that's about it. I just don't feel up to it this year either.



And now, I'm going to go open the box of books I just got from Barnes&Noble.com and then go play Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The special content I was supposed to get with the Signature Edition did indeed install. Vlad III Tepes' sword is quite cool, the 'tomb' was a little disappointing as far as how short/easy it was, honestly.

Haven't played since before Thanksgiving, so I'm looking forward to a few hours of play time. Maybe I'll finally get that last Tower away from the coward Templar today, and keep it- which turns out is harder than getting them in the first place, lol. But fun, nonetheless.


So much for that. The disc drive in the PS3 decided to die right when I hit the button to load my game. No more video games or Netflix movies on the PS3 until we can afford the $100+ it'll cost to repair. Wonderful.

Sep. 23rd, 2011

Time, I have so little of it.



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Been busy here. Trying not to stress out and lose my mind over the fact I can't really DO much of anything significant in the kitchen.

Kitchen is still not done. The texture coat goes on, on Sat. THEN, maybe we'll be able to unscrew the kitchen for a month or so, until WE paint it and redo the floor- that'll take us maybe a week or so. The repairs are taking so long because it's only the landlord doing it most of the time. We offer our help and he turns us down. So, yeah.

To do dishes, for example, I have to move the buffet cabinet, then clear it off of the glass baking dishes and baking pans. Then I can do dishes. Because then, I can get to the sink. Doing this month's Daring Bakers Challenge? Was... interesting, to say the least.

Mark's a little under half way through Assassin's Creed II. He's spotted all these coded messages in the puzzles that I completely missed my first play through. Now I'm wondering if there's any in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, not that I've done many of the puzzles- I've done one so far. There's just so much other stuff to do right now, heh.

He's thoroughly enjoying this game series as much as I have. He hasn't touched any of his other PS3 games in over a week, Sundays not included as that's when Charlie comes over and we play Tekken 6 or they play Borderlands together.

I can safely say I'm not expecting to be done with Brotherhood by November 15th when Revelations comes out.}:P But that's ok, it'll give me more games to tide me over until assassin's Creed III is released- whenever that'll be. Hopefully sometime next year.

We were in our local paper this last Sunday. A photo from the Walk to End Alzheimer's was in there. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), while the article is online, the photo isn't. So I need to get another copy to send my mom.


So. Yeah.