Monthly Archives: June 2006

No, really….I bought a house

Given that I waited until age 42 to settle down in a house and that I’m always complaining about my lack of funds, I’m betting that some of my friends and family don’t think I purchased a home. That my medication is off, yes. Bought a home, no.

But here is proof: pictures, with the pets, even. Of course, if my medication IS off, I might have just sneaked the pets into a poorly secured house for a photo shoot….you be the judge.

Click on pics to embiggen.

This first series are the front of the house, the back, and the view out my front door. That pretty tree in the front is a silver maple. The tree in the back is none too healthy and may have to come down.


The next series is the living room, complete with new loveseat and chair/ottoman. Notice Zeke’s palatial new Living_room

The next set includes the bedroom* (which is level, despite my photography), the office, which needs more wall art and which will function as the guest bedroom complete with futon, and the bathroom. The tub is not plumbed or tiled for a shower, something that I hope to change in a few years.


Here’s the kitchen. I love how bright it is — three windows!


Finally, we come to the basement. Notice the corner ‘o catness; nice to have litter boxes out of the main house. That big, stainless steel sink was left by the previous owners — I have visions of dog washing and wool dyeing, possibly all at once. That’s the shower stall next to the sink. Part of the basement has been "finished" (if finished means painting and slapping carpet onto the cement floor) and it is my book/sewing/yarn room. I don’t imagine you really want to see the basement stairs, but Astrid was on them and she’s not in any other pics.


So that’s the house. I’m loving it, but then, I haven’t had to make a payment yet….

*Despite my agonizing over finding just the right shade of sage green for the bedroom walls, my careful comparisons of color cards, etc., the bedroom walls are mint green. Not a bad thing, but they sure as hell aren’t sage. This is the paint companies’ fault; can’t they name their shades informative names like, say, sage green, instead of "Loma Linda" ** and "Desert Stone"?

**Which is what I finally chose. I should have remembered that Loma Linda, CA is largely known for its hospital. Which is probably painted, on the interior, mint green….

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I am officially ALL MOVED IN.

Tuesday, I received delivery of three pieces of new living room furniture. Furniture that is not merely new to me, but NEW — I got to rip off the tags and everything. And it all matches — not only each other (loveseat, big chair, ottoman), but, by some twisted miracle, the furniture coordinates with my area rug and with the painting I bought at the BVU student art sale, and all pieces look good against the khaki toned paint on the living room walls, done by the former homeowners. Such perfection would frighten me, if I hadn’t almost immediately bled* on the new ottoman. Fortunately, the microfiber fabric is as forgiving as the salesman claimed.

First off, let me tell that, as much as I adore Edward Gorey, this t-shirt is dead wrong. Too many books is exactly the number you have when you blithely refuse all offers of help and pack them up and move them and carry them down into the basement yourself. And the fact that, since becoming employed post-grad school, I’ve been springing for more hardbacks, didn’t help. BUT, yesterday, I got all books unpacked and on the shelves and the greater part of the collection in alpha order. I then ruthlessly weeded through to find excess books, books I’ve read and then said "eh," books I will never read, books I could exist happily without, and put them in a box to take to the local old folks home. That box I can lift and transport easily, as I could part with only 8 books. EIGHT BOOKS! Heck, I’ve received 6 books from in the last two weeks. The upshot of that kind of math, of course, is that I AM NEVER MOVING AGAIN. Hear that, oh my nephews? When I die, just throw me into the basement library/sewing/knitting room and brick it up, then sell the house. Trust me — you won’t want to deal with the books and yarn I will accumulate in the next year, let alone 3 or 4 decades hence.

Today, for the first time in my almost 43 years on this earth, I mowed grass. I did it with my cute little Black and Decker electric mulching LawnHog mower, which is quiet and non-gasoline-stinky and lightweight and easy to handle. Now, I will admit that, because we’ve had so little rain, I only had to mow parts of the lawn — the shady spots and the places where other kinds of grass/weeds were springing up. But still, it was fun and I was definitely feeling the lure of the power tool. Vacuum cleaners should look and sound like this. Of course, since I have summers off, mowing the lawn is a pleasant diversion instead of a necessary chore, and we’ll see how I feel once school starts, esp. if we have a wet early fall. But still. Oh, I also now understand the need for edgers, or weed whackers, or whatever it is one uses to cut the grass along the bottoms of trees and along rock garden edges. I also understand the need for cold lemonade.

Now, since I am all moved in, I can take some pictures. I promise to take pictures and post them asap. As soon as I go buy some lemonade, in fact.

*just because I’ve been shaving my legs** for 30 years doesn’t mean I’m any good at it.

**knees down (you know you were wondering)

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Well, I’m in the house and completely done with the apartment. I have just 3 boxes to lug down to the basement, and then I’m more or less moved in. The ‘more’ means I have lawnmower and if we’d only get some grass-growing rain, I’d use it. I also have a half-barrel planted with geraniums and three other kinds of plants I can’t name (gardener buddy picked them out), and I have three tomato plants in the garden. The ‘less’ refers to the facts that the vacuum is still in the back of the car, along with some other junk, and that the books and yarn in the basement room are still in piles and boxes.

Having lived here for a week, though, I know two things that are going to be changed whenever time and $$ present themselves. First, I need a new toilet. The present one works fine, but it is loooow — mid-calf height — and not much fun to get up from. Using the toilet shouldn’t *always* be a grunt-inducing experience! Second, I need a bathtub/shower insert. As it is, the tub was never plumbed for a shower and there’s a shower stall in the basement. That trip downstairs has already gotten old.

The animals have adjusted well. Ricky and I have discovered the less doggy-inhabited walks around the neighborhood for our morning walks,* and most evenings we drive to one of the parks on the lake. Yesterday I took him down to one of the tiny beaches and he chased the waves that dared to dampen his precious toes, only realizing afterward that the chasing caused greater toe wetness.  Silly dog.

Pics after I locate the camera. You’d think it would be in one of those last three boxes, but the strange physics of moving may preclude that…..

*for some reason, he loves crapping on the lawn at the Lutheran church on the corner.

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Of houses and hound dogs….

Well, I’m 1/3 of the way moved into the house, with much more moving to come between now and Saturday.

Because I’ve been renting ever since leaving the college dorms around age 19,* I have never painted a room. I lost that innocence yesterday, and like most other innocence-taking milestones, it was sweaty, painful, and ultimately kind of a let down.

The room was the only one in the house with an icky color — who wants a mauve bedroom? *** So I picked out a nice, pale, sagey green, taped the windows and light switches, spackled the nail holes, and went to town. One thing that made this such a chore, I think, is that the room has wooden trim not only around the edges of the ceiling, but also running down each corner. Such a lot of work to do the trim before each coat on each wall.

Now, I realize that a) many people paint rooms for a living and b) others do it just for fun. And it’s not like I was being forced or that painting a room is on par with breaking rocks at Folsom Prison ala Johnny Cash.**** But still, I discovered yesterday that room painting is no big thrill for me and, given the lack of thrill, a damn lot of work. So next time I buy a house with a mauve bedroom, I’m going to do one of two things: either lose 30 lbs, chat up some guy in a bar, and get him to do it, or just buy a mauve bedspread and go with the flow.

In other news, and as if being in the middle of a move isn’t enough, today I brought home a dog. Ricky, named for the Red Baron, was at a shelter in Spencer, Iowa, about 40 miles away. When I saw his picture and his description, I knew he was THE dog for me, and I went down the next day and adopted him. Then I waited 5 days to bring him home, and he’s even now snoozing on the living room floor. And he is, indeed, the perfect dog.

Ricky is a beagle/shepherd mix, ~ 3 y.o, 30 lbs, shorter than knee height. When I picked him up today, he immediately wanted in the car. I folded down the backseats of my hatchback and loaded him in, hoping his car manners would be good enough to save us from an accident on the ride home. What a gentleman. He understood that the back area was for him and he stayed there. He put one tentative paw between the front seats at one point and I said "No." He backed right up.

We took a walk, which he adored, and then came home for the big kitty & bird meeting about an hour ago. Ricky has completely ignored the cats. He was interested in their food dishes, but I said NO and he just walked away. Again, a little bit of interest in Zeke, but NO was all that was needed. The cats are very confused because, while I doubt they want Ricky to chase them around the house, his complete indifference is undermining their self esteem. Astrid is staying away but Squint just walked right past Ricky’s nose to hop into the window.

If only internet dating were this easy and guaranteed such good results.

So here’s some pics of our newest (and final, barring attrition) addition. Notice that he has one blue eye and one brown eye. The fleece toy was given to him at the shelter and he carried to the car in his mouth! (click to enlarge).


*You know, just a bit over three years ago**
**in dog years. In middle-aged lady years, it was yesterday.
***The previous owners, you might answer, but, having experienced painting over dark mauve, I’m pretty sure they moved just to avoid repainting it themselves.
****Who would have painted the room black

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