Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's "After" time

Finally got around to taking some pictures:

Master bedroom - no more ugly curtains and blinds, nicely matched bedding, eh?

You'll notice the aforementioned Spongebob nightlight...

My bathroom - already messy...

Adam's bathroom

Pet room

Guest/Computer room (the blinds are up now so the window's not so naked)

Dining Room

Living Room

(Messy) Kitchen

New front door

Nicely cleaned and sealed deck

And the grill - in disguise

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wedding Stuff

Unrelated to the housing drama, I ordered our wedding favors yesterday. I was originally going to wait until I got the RSVPs back but then I figured we can always deal with having extras. I decided to scrap the idea since I could get basically the same thing – in cute wedding themed take-out boxes – for less money from the Oriental Trading Co. True, sometimes their quality is sketchy, but I guess I’m willing to take that risk. I also ordered little drawstring bags so I don’t have to mess with ribbon for the other part of the favors. Ribbon and me, not so good together. I also signed up for lots more fun by getting some cheesy stickers to put on the bottom of Hershey kisses. Another mindless task for in front of the TV I guess.

Speaking of RSVPs, they’ve already started coming back. I’m impressed! We’re already 13% of the way to our reception minimum. So far only two “no” replies and one of them we already knew about. This part is fun for the Excel-loving OCD part of me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Joys of Home Ownership

Well, as usual, things don’t always go as expected.

I went downstairs yesterday to do laundry and decided to check the washer out a little closer. When I did laundry this past weekend I noticed green blobs were showing up. While grossed out, I just picked them out of the tub and moved on. Yesterday I noticed a decidedly funky smell. I also noticed some green goop on the bleach dispenser cup thingy. Out of curiosity I popped that out and was greeted by a mass of more green goop and something fuzzy. Not good. So I got Adam down to look at it. Turns out the green goop/fuzzy something went all the way around the top of the spinny thingy and there was no way either he or I would be able to get it all off. We tried bleach, paper towel (he suggested a toothbrush but we didn’t have any extras.) Pretty much the only way to assure it would all be gone would be to take the tub out of the washer. And as handy as Adam is, I think that’s too much to ask.

So it was determined that we needed a new washer. I just couldn’t go on washing our clothing in a mold farm. Just doesn’t seem sanitary. So much for the saving money by taking his parents’ old stuff deal... Oh well, that’s what a month in a stuffy garage will do to you. Fortunately we had a 10% off coupon from Home Depot that Lowe’s said they’d match. We made the trek out and picked out a new washer/dryer set. (If we had to get one, might as well make them match…) Luckily they had a delivery slot open for tonight so I get to high-tail it home from work to make sure I’m there before they are. Along with the cable guy installing the phone, tonight will be a busy one in the Dodds-Paalman household.

While at Lowe’s we got the dryer ductwork needed. Except we got about 10 feet too little. Whoops. We also picked up the last door lock needed along with the new garage door (well, not the garage door but a door for an entrance on the side of the house…) Since the guy who re-keys locks was already gone for the night Adam talked the manager into letting him use their equipment to re-key it himself. He did this while working at Menards and managed to do it a lot faster than the guy who did our other ones. Possesses all kinds of skills, this one does… Anywho, some paint for the new front door (which is installed but windowless) and a Spongebob Lava Lamp Nightlight (really, it’s as cool as it sounds) rounded out another frighteningly expensive trip to Lowe’s. Aside from picking up the additional ductwork needed (and I’m not sure we’ll go to Lowe’s for that) hopefully we’re almost done spending money on the house. Unexpected money at least.

We haven’t made much progress in getting the rest of our crap from the apartment to the house. I haven’t even gone to the apartment since Monday. Tonight I hope to unpack my books and then use all the empty boxes from those and the media collection to pack my kitchen stuff up and get it to the house. We go up to Door County for the weekend on Friday afternoon so we also have to get all our camping gear and pack for that. I have all day tomorrow off though so I hope to get some stuff done then. We’ll see.

The house is still a disaster area. We have a little more than a week to get everything over, clean the apartment, and get the house in “Housewarming Party” mode? And Adam still needs to assemble the grill and make sure it works. Can we do it? :) Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Money Thoughts

Some uplifting money thoughts:
** My car is 75% owned by me! And still gets excellent mpg.

** My 401(k) balance recently went over the $11,000 mark! I’m not completely vested for another 6 months, but it still looks impressive.

A neutral money thought:
** I’m going to the travel agency on Friday to pay off our honeymoon! Fat wad of cash gone, but exchanged for a great vacation and life experience.

Some not so uplifting money thoughts:
** On this past credit card cycle I accrued interest for the first time since the only time I accrued interest previously (right after I came back from France the second time and had no money for a few weeks due to the whole “not working for six weeks while frittering away my savings in Europe” thing. I paid the whole thing off the next month.)

** I won’t be paying the whole thing off this month. Or next month. On the bright side, it’s not a ridiculous interest rate so I don’t feel too violated by the whole thing.

** Total for house-buying expenses is not final yet but is fast approaching (and will almost undoubtedly pass) the $7,000 mark. Ouch. Hopefully I can get the house cleaned up and picture-worthy so we can all see if it was worth it. (I’m sure it was – Just being away from the dumbshit Indian neighbors is worth it. They drove around and around the apartment parking lot veeeeeeery slowly apparently trying to learn how to drive their minivan. They backed it into their garage a couple times. Now, I don’t mean into the garage, I mean they backed into the garage, hitting it. They couldn’t figure out how to turn their stupid car alarm off and they “accidentally” set it off most every night. And the door locking accompanied by the horn honk. Continuously. Multiple times. For five minutes. And the mass of children. The banging. The loud music coming through the bathroom vent. I could go on…)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Moving Sucks, Part...16 (I had to count how many times I've moved...)

*Deep sigh*

So, where to start. First off, wedding invites were mailed Friday so (if you were invited :)) you should get them soon. Already got one RSVP back (from Adam’s parents.) The fun starts now.

Second, moving was an experience. We got up pretty early Saturday morning (I’m talking pre-6 am early) since neither of us could sleep. I took the bed apart as soon as we were out of it so I could wash the sheets. Adam went to pick up his sister and the pressure washer. I packed some stuff into my car and met them over at the house. We got the washer hooked up and left his sister at the house with that while we went to pick up the U-Haul. Literally 2 seconds before we pulled in a lady in a minivan parked. She apparently had reserved the same van that we had. 15 minutes later it was worked out that she’d get the 15 foot van and we’d get the 24 foot van for the same price we had paid to reserve the 15 foot one. After driving it back (at $.99 a mile) to the apartment we realized we didn’t have the appliance dolly like we’d requested. Rather than hassle with the U-Haul people again Adam called True Value and rented a dolly from them. After returning with it we started loading up the van. We were about 2/3 done when it started to rain just as my dad and Cheryl arrived. It proceeded to pour and rain sideways during the remainder of our loading process. While it definitely felt nice since it was so hot out, it was a pain because the ramp got slippery and our stuff got wet.

We drove the mile or so to the house and began unloading the truck. It was still raining but Adam was able to back the truck up enough so the overhang from the garage shielded us and our stuff from the rain. While Adam hooked up the washer and dryer in the basement, my dad and Cheryl went to get some lunch. After lunch we finished unloading the truck and Adam finished washing the parts of the deck his sister couldn’t get. We returned the dolly and U-Haul truck and then went back to the apartment with our cars to get the smaller stuff and the pets. After two or three trips I returned to find that my dad and Cheryl had taken off while I was at the apartment. Oh well… Katie and I relaxed inside while Adam mowed the lawn. When his parents arrived we ran to Walmart to buy bags of dirt for his mom and aunt to spread on Sunday and then his parents took the pressure washer and his sister back up to Appleton. Meanwhile I made the bed, unloaded some bathroom stuff, got the pets settled, and collapsed. Adam got the TV in the bedroom set up and probably lots of other things but I can’t remember them now.

Sunday morning we got up and got the computer room set up. We went to breakfast and then went shopping. When we returned his mother and aunt showed up to do the aforementioned yard work. I went to the apartment to pick up another load of random small stuff. Adam put an office chair and bookshelf together, got slides on the chair legs in the dining room, set up the living room, and once again probably lots of other stuff. I spent most of the afternoon laying in the guest room with a headache. Last night we went grocery shopping for the first time in about a month (and it was painful to see the total!) Adam got the new blinds up in the master bedroom so that transformation is near completion – just waiting to get sheer curtains.

I haven’t taken any pictures recently. I’m waiting for the disaster areas to be cleaned up a bit first. Tonight I’ll be unpacking CDs, DVDs, and books so I can use those boxes to bring the rest of the kitchen over. Other than that the only stuff left at the apartment is holiday stuff and games and a few boxes that were too heavy for me to carry down the stairs. And cleaning products. Because after we get everything out we get to clean. Woo!

We have our first camping trip in Door County this weekend so we’ll get some relaxation time before the last big push to get the apartment cleaned out and get the house party-ready.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Feelin' Lazy on Day 13

So all you're gonna get is pictures and exclamatory sentences!


Bath linens and accessories!

And the curved shower curtain!

More painting!

Monday, June 11, 2007

And now for something completely different...

Ok, here’s a non-house-related blog. Of course, if it isn’t house related it must be wedding related since those are pretty much the only things I think of outside of work.

I met with Tom & Alice (ceremony musicians) on Saturday morning. We’d had to reschedule because of a family emergency (not mine) and Adam couldn’t make it because he was at work. Not that it matters much since he really doesn’t care about the music. I had created a spreadsheet outlining my thoughts and was open for insight and suggestions. Basically they took what I wrote, agreed with it, and we went with it. So, for anyone who cares, this is what’s on the program:

Alice will be singing three songs as a prelude (can’t remember what they are...more secular than religious though. Think Lifetime of Love.) Adam and I picked these at the first meeting and (this will sound kind of bad) I was relatively unconcerned about these since I won’t be there to hear them anyway. The processional will be Bach’s Air on the G String… played on the organ. It’s mellow, but still has a definite bass line beat to walk to. And it’s not marchy. Perhaps the one traditional element that slipped through is the “Here Comes the Bride” for my entrance. What can I say, I want fanfare… We’ll have an instrumental version of One Hand, One Heart during the unity candle lighting and the Ave Maria will remain at the Silent Communion. The recessional is the Allegro Maestoso from Handel’s Water Music. Yeah, I had to relent to some Water Music, but it’s an acceptable movement. A nice, grand way to end the ceremony. Granted, it’s not Widor, but it’ll have to do. :)

Adam’s mom dropped off the revised RSVP cards on Saturday so I went to work assembling the invitations yesterday morning. I had already printed address and reply labels but for some reason my stupid printer decided to randomly print a few of them incorrectly so I had to reprint a bunch. A lot of black ink, sticky fingers, and paper cuts later I have all but two of them done. I managed to lose one address and I’m still waiting for a last name (**Ahem… Dad**) on the other. Pretty good I’d say. I haven’t sealed them yet. I wasn’t feeling drooly enough to use my saliva up on them. I might do them in batches to avoid dehydration. Then I’ll slap a silver sticker thingy on them and haul them to the post office. I didn’t count them but I think we were up to 66 or 67. Not too bad – and that translates to 128 guests. We should get to our 75 reception minimum no problem right? (Fingers crossed!)

Other items on my wedding to-do list (Yes, I have a separate list for wedding tasks. I’m a huge dork.):

1. Find shoes for the Catherines. I’m sucking at this. And I need to kind of have it figured out by the 30th (our first fitting appointment.)
2. Meet with Father Mike to finalize the ceremony. Although I suppose we need to figure out what we want before we do this…
3. Meet with DJ and go through music lists.
4. Get my ring inspected. Adam’s was sent in to be sized on Saturday. Size 14.25! (I’m a 5.75!) My ring will be sized in late July – I’m having them solder the two together right away and I don’t want a naked finger for too long…
5. I’m a few attendant gifts short still. Fortunately I have ideas and I just need to get out there and act on them. Adam’s gift on the other hand… don’t know about that yet.

Anyway, that’s about it. Focus definitely remains on packing and cleaning. We just had the bad judgment to schedule our moving van on the same day (this Saturday!) the invitations are supposed to go out. But it’s under control. No worries!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Days 7-10

All the days seem to run together if I don't keep on top of this posting a blog thing so I'm just going to try and go through everything that we've accomplished to the best of my sad memory's ability.

Adam finished up tiling the kitchen and dining room. It's all done except for a strip along the entrance hallway, a strip along the dining room wall, and the front closet area. He plans to finish those up tonight. He caulked along where the appliances go so it was ready for them and his dad caulked the rest yesterday afternoon.

Speaking of appliances, the new stove and fridge were delivered yesterday afternoon. Yay! The fridge is much larger than we thought and it sticks out a lot more than we expected but it works. And it makes ice! And the stove has a glass top! And they're all pretty and clean and new! Exclamation point overload!!! Unfortunately we have no food so it might be a few days before I get around to using them. (Sorry about the blurry pictures, I must have shaky hands... or maybe I just needed caffeine or something)

Thursday night we made another trip to Lowe's to exchange the previously mentioned broken ceiling fan parts. (Ooh, pretty)

We also picked up some additional doorknobs and some other supplies. And a new doorbell. And a programmable thermostat. Yeah, pretty much everything is getting replaced.

Adam's mom and sister were busy on Wednesday as well, decapitating the doomed lilac bush.

His mom and dad came back yesterday morning to finish the job and take down the tree by the guest bedroom as well.

While they were outside I busied myself inside by unpacking the kitchen. Well, most of it anyway. You might notice the countertop is a little... cluttered. :) I got the pantry stocked and our alcohol glasses took up an entire cupboard all by themselves.

Other incidental activites:
The doorbell replacement didn't go so well when Adam realized the transformer installed wasn't supplying enough power to make the new chime chime. The front door ringer thingy doesn't work anyway. So we decided to go wireless.

I took the old shower curtain rod in the hall bathroom down. I had to do it in two different segments because it contained the worlds longest screw ever and my arm got tired (wow, now there's a sentence loaded with dirty possibilities!) I thought my brain was messing with me until I looked at the screws and yes, one is much longer than all the others. Cruel, cruel shower curtain rod.

A few more trips brought additional crap over to the house. All the wedding stuff is over there now along with most of the kitchen (excluding my menagerie of small appliances that need counter space to survive.) I brought over a lot of our clothing and my shoes. We're in good shape to move furniture next Saturday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Days 5 & 6

Nicely cut lawn - so I guess the new lawnmower works ok...

Tile progress Tuesday night

Day 5

Monday was back to normal – I went to work and so did Adam – and so the house languished alone all day long. After work I went to the apartment, loaded some boxes into my car, and headed over the house to unload some more of our belongings. Adam got there about 15 minutes after I did and continued to work on getting the new floor down. His dad came over after he was done at work and when he got there I left to go back to the apartment. I had planned to start wedding invitation assembly but I realized that there was apparently a breakdown in communication somewhere and all the reply cards had been printed incorrectly. So I got the address labels printed but I’ll have to wait to actually start putting them together until I get the corrected reply cards.

Day 6

Adam had off from work all day yesterday to work on getting the kitchen tiles in and to be there for the cable guy. Installation and wiring of the house was successful and there is now cable/internet in all three bedrooms, the living room, and even the kitchen. They were unable to set up the telephone since we let them know too late but we’ll be having them come back to add that on in the near future. Great progress was made on the kitchen floor front as well. I had my first IMA board meeting so I had to leave before 6 (and before his dad showed up) but according to the picture, I’d say it’s probably 1/3 done. In any case, the important stuff is done – our new appliances are due to show up this weekend. The carpet place will be stopping by tomorrow to do final measurements and they plan to install the carpeting in the master next Tuesday morning. And with that we’ll be pretty much set. We have the U-Haul reserved for the 16th along with a pressure washer. Some random incidental things (fixing the broken fan bulb covers, changing light bulbs, cleaning!) and we’ll be ready to move in and unpack. Most of the big stuff is done though (or in progress.)

Tonight I believe Adam will continue plugging away with the tile. We also plan to bring over the rest of the boxes I’d already packed up. Unfortunately this barely makes a dent in the amount of stuff at our apartment. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do tonight. I can stay at the house and clean the second bathroom, put up the new curtain rod and hang the curtain, clean other things, unpack towels. Or I can stay at the apartment and start packing the rest of our stuff. The kitchen is pretty much done except for what we need to keep there until we officially leave. There are some closets, clothes, all the wedding stuff. I don’t know. I guess I’ll see what happens.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Day 4

Lights in the ceiling fans! We can see after dark!

Over the toilet storage in both bathrooms assembled (but not attached to the wall yet)

Carpet in dining room cut and removed

Funkadelic ceiling fan in living room almost done (two lightbulb covers were broken and we need to trek to Lowe's to get replacements)

New underlying floor installation started in kitchen (more on that later)

A nice plant from our friendly next-door neighbors

Ok, so Sunday (Day 4) will not go down as the least stressful day of home-ownership. I was feeling like crap and spent most of the morning sleeping. And most of the afternoon for that matter. Anyway, I missed most of the exitement. Adam went over to the house yesterday morning to continue where we'd left off on Saturday - ceiling fans, kitchen floor. A few things happened:

1) Torrential downpours all morning combined with a leaky (and uncovered) basement window = 2+ inches of water in the basement. Luckily it's completely unfinished and there is nothing down there. Well, except for some puddles now... Anyway, after discovering the home warranty we got at closing doesn't cover windows (what's that about?) Adam and his dad pulled some deck boards up (because the leaky window would have to be the one under the deck, right?) and put the window well cover from the side of the house onto that window. We'll see if it works. It rained a lot today as well so when I head over there in a little bit I'll check for standing water.

2) The paper backing to the previous vinyl floor in the kitchen just would not come up. They tried some adhesive solvent stuff but that didn't help. So it was determined that the easiest solution would be to buy 1/4" plywood, recover the kitchen and dining room with it and start tiling over that fresh surface. Alrighty!

Other than that the day seems to have gone well. I can't really say since I wasn't there for most of it. We're still making progress and things should be on schedule. We're having an issue with the carpet installation (due to misinformation given to us by the salesperson) but hopefully that gets worked out.

Tomorrow the cable guy comes to wire the house for tv, internet, and phone. Yes, we decided to get a landline after neither of our cell phones worked decently while inside the house.

So far the "house buying expenses" total up to almost $5,000... and we're not done yet! Money pit indeed.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Day 3

2nd coat of paint done in master bedroom, ceiling fan up, floor cleared off. Now we wait for the new carpet.

Ceiling fan up in second bedroom

Stupid wall in kitchen knocked down (there were two holes in the floor underneath that we didn't expect to find. Hence the patch there.) and all the flooring ripped up.

Dishwasher installed (and it works!)

Plans for today (since it's raining again) include scraping off the paper on the kitchen floor and priming it for tiles, getting the other two ceiling fans up, assembly of over-the-toilet storage in both bathrooms, and who know what else - the shopping list continues to grow.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Recent Page-a-Day Dilbert

Reminded me of a conversation I had with Evan a few years back regarding English majors...