Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So very many things I keep meaning to get to around here. The whole one monitor set up for two computers is really starting to wear on me. I can't just walk into the office and use my computer whenever I like. I must coordinate with Scoob and I usually only get computer time after work for the whole 20 minutes he's in the shower, then it's time to eat dinner and wind down for the day.

Lots and lots of stuff going on. The landscaping for the house was pushed back to today due to Hurricane Irene because they thought the ground would be too water logged to plant anything. But in reality, hardly any of the storm made it to where we will soon live. The house is fine, and all our friends are fine.

We met with a real estate agent last Friday, visited one of their open homes over the weekend, and we'll meet with them again on Friday this week to sign an agreement and stage the house for photos. Going to be a lot of heavy lifting that day. To get ready for it (and for the move in general) I've been incorporating some core strength and balancing moves into my workouts so hopefully I won't have so much back pain from the move.

The agent's brother works for U-Haul and has offered us a 20% discount on a truck for our move. I need to price it all out, but I'm pretty sure this will be the least expensive option for moving now, and Scoob is resigned to driving both the car and a truck cross-country. Though he thinks he gets to drive the car; I say we're taking turns. We'll see.

I've started pulling everything out of the kitchen cupboards and packing. Packing for taking with us and packing for getting rid of. I'm leaving a place setting for 4 that we'll continue to use. And I'll be darned if our kitchen didn't become immediately more tidy. The lesson seems to be that when you don't have very many dishes, you less apt to leave dirty ones setting in the sink.

We've been doing some other heavy, deep cleaning. Scoob has thoroughly hosed and scrubbed down the exterior of our house. We've scrubbed the front door and learned that it was really white, not gray. I've been tackling the blinds in the house and then all the windows. And Scoob's been diligently packing, packing, packing.

I've got more, so much more, that I want to write about, but the fact is, every time I sit still long enough to think about writing I find myself under a deluge of all the other things I need to do and should be doing with the time for the move. Here's to hoping I find a nice, calm chunk of time soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Changing Plans

So it's finally the end of a long first week back to work, and how do I celebrate one of the last half-day Fridays of the summer? Making things up in the kitchen! I don't know what got in to me, but dudes, I started baking. I've had tarts on my mind lately. Tarts, of the fruit-filled, flaky, crusty variety.

So I looked up some tart recipes online, picked a few to pick and choose from, and got set to baking a pear, raspberry, and frangipane tart. It's in the oven now and the house smells yummy!

I also spent some time on the phone this afternoon.When I got home from the office, I sat down to start calling some of those property managers I looked up . When I started putting together some paperwork to figure out what our condo-related expenses are, it reminded Scoob to call his accountant. So instead, I spent a half hour or so talking an accountant and the tax advantages/disadvantages for renting or selling.

One long, math-filled, conversation later, and I'm not talking math-math, here—this was tax-math, a whole different beast—we've done a 180 and now we're looking to sell the condo when we move. Long story short, if we rent, we would most likely be paying $700 per month. If we sell, we run the risk of taking a loss, but we've paid enough into our mortgage principle, even if we sell for less that we purchased this place for, we'll get some money out of the transaction

So now we've ditched the list of potential property managers I came up with and we're looking for a real estate agent..

In other news, the kitchen appliances were installed at the house this morning and they started pouring the driveway this afternoon. It's hard to believe that the Parade of Homes starts in 6 weeks, and that means we'll be able to move in in 9 weeks! We're into single digits!

My excitement has officially become tinged with panic. I came back from vacation, after driving through all that stunningly-beautiful land in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, questioning all my reasons for deciding to move to North Carolina. It took me a couple days to remember, and I image this will happen again before we actually move.

It's just how I am. I'll get all excited about the prospect of doing something, make plans to do it, as it approaches I become ambivalent if not down right resistant, then I'll actually do it and I'll be happy with the whole thing. So I think the best thing for me to do is to just push through with the move, no matter how badly I start to question myself.

This move is a big, life-changing event, not scheduling dinner with a friend. So any amount of self-doubt I might feel toward normal events will probably be amplified by a factor of, oh, I don't know, a gazillion? GAH!

But the cats are helping. I get daily reminds that they, too, want this move.

"Don't you dare touch my square. I haven't a square to spare!"

If you look closely, you'll see that the carpet Tank is laying on is a slightly different color. That's a 9"x9" square sample of the carpet I chose to have installed upstairs in the house.

It seems like every time I walk through the living room, either Tank or Dozer is lounging on that square of carpet. If I move it to a different location, that then becomes their new lounging area. In fact, Tank has even moved the square himself, so that it was in a patch of sunshine. I think I made a good carpet choice.  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh, We Have Granite, Too!

The photographer put these pictures up last weekend. I have to say, I am not thrilled with the yellow tint to everything. I had hoped when we asked her to take the tint off the paint photos that she would leave it off altogether. It seems like it would be an obvious assumption that the client would like to see the actual colors of things, rather than looking at them through a yellow tint.

Kitchen granite in the Bulter area. I'll be pretty disappointed if this granite
ends up looking this green (and the paint this yellow).

Granite for the master bath and sink.

The whole master bath cabinet. What the hell???

Okay, this clearly isn't right. The original house plans called for angled cabinets here (there's another sink cabinet on the other side of the doorway). When the cabinetry vendor and I were discussing it, we agreed to square off these cabinets so that the doors won't bang into them. Unfortunately, no one communicated this to the granite people.

This is not the first granite mishap we've run into due to the granite vendor not receiving revised plans. But this is the first mishap that wasn't caught before the granite was cut and installed.

Wait. I take that back. The kitchen butler area pictured above is also not supposed to have a backsplash. The builder and I discussed this and he thought it would be better to repeat the rock that will go on the sink wall in the butler area. But no one told the granite people. Luckily that's just a matter of taking off the backsplash. These bathroom counters are another matter.

The way I see it, there are really only two options—take out the sinks, take off the granite, ship it back to the shop and have them recut it and reinstall everything; or build a cabinet to fit under the overhang as called for in the original plans. I want the second option, but I'm waiting to see what the builder says our options are. Either way, I don't feel that we should have to pay to correct a mistake that could have been avoided if the builder had made sure all the vendors were working from the same set of plans.

I will say, though, that I am glad this mistake was made. I don't think I would have liked the counters squared off in the bathroom, but that may still be what I get depending on what the builder says.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We Have Cabinets!

Truthfully, we had cabinets a couple weeks ago, but it took awhile for the photographer to get her pictures up and then I've been traveling for the past week. So, without further ado... kitchen cabinets!

A straight-on shot

Bulter pantry area.

The long sink wall.

And looking the other way.