Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to wish someone a Happy Halloween, because Lord only knows there's not a soul to be found here. Our friends came by for an hour or so this evening to check out the area rugs we picked up last weekend (third times the charm!), but other than that, we haven't seen any signs of life. But then again, we didn't really expect to. So the upside is that I didn't buy a ton of candy that would now need to be eaten.

So the rugs. This is the third time we've bought area rugs, but I like these and I'm keeping them. The other 2 times I returned them. The living room rug is 8' x 12' and a sage-y green. I did not like it in the store. It was a very yellow green under the flourescent lights, but in the house I can hardly tell it's green at all. It looks more gray/silver and it has a nice textured pattern. We also bought a 5' x 8' brown shaggy rug with a greenish tint to it for in front of the door. The brown will be good for masking dirt in the entry way.

I'm really stoked about the rugs because we only spent $120 for the both of them! I know! We got them at Lowe's. It seems that when the carpet manufacturer only has a little carpet (not enough for a whole room or house) left on a roll, they use it to make area rugs that are dirt cheap when compared to true rugs. The 8' x 12' was $88. 8'x 10' area rugs were going for $268-300. And this way, if a rug gets stained, barfed on (and it will happen), or otherwise ruined, I won't blow a gasket.

I also bought a couple of bar height chairs from Overstock for the island. They're dark brown with a low back. The back just barely extends over the top of the island and the dark brown just sort of fades into the cabinetry when they aren't being used so it doesn't look all cluttered. Exactly what I wanted them to do. I need to order 2 more while they still have them in stock.

We're still trolling furniture stores on the weekends. We found a place called Whitley out in Zebulon, NC last weekend that we'll need to go back to. We got there about 15 minutes before closing so we really didn't get to see much and the showroom is a full city block and 2 stories. Like Powell's. But with furniture. We did see some promising things, so we'll definitely go back. And they just started a promotion... no interest until 2016. I'll try to restrain myself and just stick to the priorities... like a bed for mom to sleep on when she comes out.

We've also been stocking the pantry. We've hit the local grocery store and found our nearest Trader Joe's. We also found an Asian grocery store (smelled just like Ranch 99 in Fremont when we walked in) and a Middle Eastern market. So, we may have to drive into Raleigh for it, but we'll be able to find most of the things we're used to. Oh, and we stopped in at A Southern Season for lunch. Their foodstuffs in the store are usually over priced in my opinion, but they have an awesome cheese counter and the attached restaurant is reasonably priced and the food is tasty. We had brunch and I ordered a 2-eggs breakfast with grits and Scoob had a BLT, but the T was a fried green tomato. Yup, we're in the south. We also found our nearest DMV and are studying up for our Drivers License test.

No news on the CA condo; that one buyer who seemed really motivated never replied. So we're waiting and hoping it moves quickly. On the health front I did see my new primary care last week and she put in a referral to gynecology for the surgery. Of course insurance is confused, saying didn't you just do all this? And we did. But in California. Also trying to get my medical records from California. I didn't pick them up before I left because I didn't want to misplace them during the moving confusion. So I emailed the doctor's office and I specifically said I was in North Carolina. So the nurse writes back saying if I just come in to reception, they'll get my records for me. Yeah. So now they're mailing me a form to complete (because they don't have an electronic version) and I'll send it back, then they'll mail my records. Bah! At any rate, I'm still waiting for a call back from insurance, so it isn't as if it's holding things up.

We had our first frost last night and I'm worried about my roses. I'm wondering if I should at least get an old sheet to drape over them tonight, but I've no idea if it will help them or not. Oh, cool. I just checked the weather and it's now not supposed to freeze.

We'll be having a parade of vendors and sub-contractors through the house this week fixing up items on our 30-day punch list (we'll also have a 90-day and 1-year) punch list. The plumber has already been out a couple times to fix a leaking toilet tank and make some adjustments to the steam shower (O.M.G. I love that thing! By far the best splurge I've ever made.). They had originally mounted the controls on the outside of the shower stall, which meant I had to open the door and let out all the steam in order to adjust the temperature or turn it off. Now that it's on the inside I've learned that the control panel is also the thermostat. Ha! No wonder it would never stop producing steam before; it wanted to heat the shower up to 100 but since it was out in the main room it always registered 68 or so. So it kept kicking out steam trying to get to 100. I'll have to let the plumber know when he comes back out again.

I was also having issues with getting scalded in the shower. Turns out that a small steam shower like ours should have a diffuser head to direct steam away from someone seated in the shower. So he's looking into that, but he did discover that he had mounted the existing head upside down and now that it's on correctly I'm having a lot less issue with the scalding, though it does still happen.

The granite folks came out today to clean up some grease pencil marks that I could not get off the granite in the laundry room and I'm expecting the cabinetry guys tomorrow morning. Flooring and the electrician on Thursday, and trim work on Friday. I'm really trying not to be a nit picky bitch, but we've just built this house. It wasn't cheap, and we shouldn't have to settle for some of these things—like tearing up 3 pairs of socks because the knots in the hardwood floors were not sanded down smooth, or having to retrieve a reluctant cat from under the upstairs fiberglass tub (that was fun!) because the doors to the crawl spaces don't latch. All in all though, we're very happy with the house.

I've sort of settled into a rhythm working from home, but I'm sure when the vendor work is finished up I'll be able to establish a more regular routine once those interruptions are gone. In the meantime I'll be putting in some extra hours this week to get some things done that absolutely need to be wrapped up on Friday. But it sure is nice not to have to face all that traffic once the work day is done.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Internet, Sweet Internet

So, we're here! We got to our new home on Monday at noon, met with the builder briefly, then started unloading the truck. It's hard to believe, but what took us several days to load, only took a few hours to unload. Of course we just set it all in the garage. We've been slowly bringing things into the house to unpack.

Yesterday was a bit of a nightmare with the cable/internet/phone service provider. The appointment window was from 8 to noon and I was told that the tech would call up to an hour before coming to the house to confirm and if we missed the call or it went to voice mail he would not come to the house. So I got myself up before dawn and parked my sleepy hiney somewhere where I had a cell phone signal (because we don't have one at the house) by 7 am.

Dispatch called around 11 to say the appointment was being cancelled. Again. You see, the appointment was originally for 5 to 9 on Monday evening because I was supposed to be online and back to work on Tuesday. But instead I spent my day hanging out in my car. After getting a supervisor on the phone to look at the history I was told the technician would still be out, but that he would be late. He finally called at 3:45 and I had to meet him along the road to lead him to the house--the previous appointments had been cancelled because they couldn't find the house.

Turns out the modem the tech had with him was bunk. He managed to get us 1 cable channel before leaving around 6:30. That's it. One channel. Thankfully it was an English channel. He came back this morning and now we're good to go. I got in several hours of work today and we're even starting to get phone calls.

We're going to start our house shopping this weekend. We'll probably start with little stuff--a rake for the leaves, felt pads to put on furniture legs, and start looking at some area rugs. We've been hesitant to put any furniture down on the hardwood floors without felt pads on the legs or a rug to rest them on. So I've got a desktop balanced on a couple of boxes and I'm sitting on the floor typing away. Not the most comfortable or ergonomic position.

And the house is so echo-y and I really think it's bothering the cats; they barely venture out of the bedroom, but Dozer has at least done a little exploring. But then again we do only have a sofa out in the main area. I imagine a couple rugs and a few pieces of furniture will help with that. But I don't want to just rush out and buy whatever. We'll have to shop around and see what we like and what we can afford.

Actually, the beasties traveled really well for the drive out. They were a little tired of being in the car that last day, luckily we only drove for 2 hours that day. Honestly, it's like the cats had a Freaky Friday episode or something. Tank was always the bold explorer Alpha male and Dozer was timid, squirmy, and happy to hide in a box. They're complete opposites now. Tank is currently hiding under the toilet (I imagine he'll move when one of us goes in there) and Dozer is hanging out with us in the office. I'm hoping Tank gets back to his usual self soon.

Scoob spend some time talking with our friends today to find out what the heck happened back in September. Apparently they thought we'd gotten an email that we didn't and that's why we were completely in the dark. Scoob's still in the doghouse for something he said back in April, but I guess I'm still on good terms with them. I'm still very confused, but I'm beginning to understand how the miscommunications happened.

Well, time to go unpack a few more boxes, I think. Still trying to convince myself that this is our house. Everything is so shiney and new. It feels like we've rented a hotel suite or something. Oh yeah, we've received 2 offers on the condo in California. We probably should have listed it for a little more, but at least it looks like we'll be able to sell it quickly, which is way better than having sits for 6 months while we pay taxes, mortgage, insurance, and homeowner association fees on it.We'll be talking with the real estate agents tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Good as Gold

My, oh my. So, on top of all my computer issues, now Scoob's work laptop has stopped connecting to his work server. Apparently this started last Wednesday, aaaaand they're still trying to fix it. We spent several hours at the HP offices on Sunday trying to get it sorted out, then had to get him to Cupertino Monday morning when it still wasn't working.

Inconvenient, sure. But under normal circumstances it wouldn't have been a big deal. But I also had to get to Berkeley so my IT person could finish getting my computer ready for working remotely. Essentially we each needed to be 30 miles away from home, in completely opposite directions, with only 1 car.

Scoob managed to get a lift into the office with his boss, and our wonderful friends and neighbors L&A picked him up on their way home. We're going to miss L&A so much once we've moved.

Scoob's people didn't manage to fix the problem yesterday, so he had to go back into an office again today. Luckily, my people did finish my computer, so I was able to work from home today and let Scoob have the car. He left around 6:00am. It's nearly 7:00pm and he's still not home. Poor sweetie. He's going to be completely exhausted. And we still have so much to do. I was really hoping to tackle some larger tasks this evening.

I managed to get a few boxes packed, stripped the bed to wash the comforter and sheets (in preparation for putting the mattress of the floor tonight and taking apart the bed frame), and emptied out and cleaned the laundry closet during breaks from work. Been a busy beaver today. But as I watch the clock tick later and later, I'm pretty sure the bed is not going to get done tonight, unless of course I do it myself. But then I'll get hollered at for lifting heavy things, and well… there's just no winning.

In other news, the awards dinner for the 2011 Chatham, Wake, and Orange counties in North Carolina was tonight, and our home won the gold medal for its price point. Woo hooo! And that's another notch in the builder's belt too. This makes their third gold medal home in as many years. Woooo double hoooo!