Thursday, December 24, 2015

the orange room part 1

Matt and I moved into our house on December 5th, and because we are planners, we had a handwritten, detailed list of projects we wanted to complete, in order of priority.  And then on December 6th, I vacuumed the whole house and when I got to the spare bedroom with the old, orange shag carpet, I could not even bring myself to enter the room.

So I said to Matt, "You feel like pulling that rug up?"

He agreed and right then and there we veered from our carefully prepared list and ripped the rug right up.  When we were finished we looked at each other and Matt said, "Wow. I wasn't really ready to do that."

It was the right move though.  The carpet had been there for 48 years and I have to say it did not age well.

There were original hardwood floors hiding beneath the rug, so Matt and I began the tedious tasks of pulling the nails and staples out of the hardwoods.

After about ten minutes I transitioned myself to the role of supervisor and pointed out protruding nails and staples as I swept the floor and referred to us as Chip and Joanna.

I was really enjoying the position of job site supervisor and the power that came with it, and I said to Matt "Oh look, you missed a nail.  Right there under that bracket.  I'm just like Joanna now, casually throwing around technical hardware terms like bracket."

And Matt said, "Yeah.  Except that's not a bracket.  It's a door hinge."


The next night we went to Lowe's to buy some supplies for room, and when we got to the moulding aisle, Matt PULLED A TAPE MEASURE OFF OF HIS BELT.

I was so impressed that he thought to bring one, and also slightly intimidated, because my measuring habits would be put to the test since we were headed to the light bulb aisle next.  I needed a replacement bulb for my Scentsy, and I'd brought the old bulb with me so I'd know what wattage to buy.  However, I knew from online research that you couldn't buy an exact Scenty bulb replica in stores, and that I'd have to get a differently shaped bulb.  To make sure that I got a bulb that would fit in the Scentsy, I measured the warmer before we left.

And by "measured" I mean it was "from the base of my ring finger to the stripe of glitter in my nail polish" inches wide.

It might not be the most technical method, but it worked.

And I know Joanna would be proud.

Monday, December 14, 2015

tomorrow i hang the no solicitation sign

Well, something I wasn't prepared for with home ownership is door to door solicitation.

This morning a woman knocked on the door and gave an impassioned speech about the importance of conserving clean water and before I knew it I was signing my name on a petition that I'm not completely sure I agree with but what kind of barbarian says no to clean water?  Plus, it was raining and the woman was soaking wet and I felt bad for her.

Just as I handed the clipboard back to her she conveniently told me that "most of the neighbors are giving $25 today to cover them for the whole year."  I told her I didn't have any cash, which was true, but then she said she would take a check.  I told a little white lie and said my husband took the checkbook to work, but then she said if I had a smart phone and an internet connection she could show me how to do it online.

I could not stump her.

So I just told her I'd "put the check in the mail."

Later in the afternoon the doorbell rang again, and when I answered it the man standing there said, "Oh hi hun, can I talk to the homeowner?"

And I said, "Oh hi sir, I AM THE HOMEOWNER."

He seemed a little taken aback, but he introduced himself as Marvin, and apologized and told me I looked too young to own a home.

That might have been a sales tactic, but I still wasn't buying what Marvin was selling, which in actuality was an ADT home security system that miraculously went down in the monthly price every time he mentioned it.

"Twenty five dollars a month is a small price to pay for peace of mind!"

"When you come home at night and it's cold and windy and something in your house doesn't seem right, you'll be happy you signed up to pay twenty dollars a month for security!"

"If your husband has to go away overnight, you can both rest easy that you paid that ten dollars a month to keep you safe at home alone!"

I told Marvin I wanted to discuss it with Matt before I signed up for anything, and he said, "Okay.  But you're really going to have to sell him on it, because 99% of husbands say no."

You know what Matt doesn't say no to buying?

Tape measures.

It's a shame Marvin didn't have any of those to sell.

Friday, December 11, 2015

i've already picked paint colors

Well, as the old saying goes, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a split level in the suburbs and a thirty year mortgage.

That's right.

We're homeowners.

We officially settled on our house last Friday, and moved in on Saturday.  And by Sunday evening, the Christmas tree was up, the entire family room was decorated, and in a spontaneous act of renovation enthusiasm we pulled out an ugly orange shag rug in a spare bedroom at about 8:00 Sunday night.

We absolutely love the house, but it needs some updating.  The wall paper sampler below should give you an idea of the style.

We bought the house from an old man who had lived here since the house was built fifty five years ago.  When we were talking about putting in an offer, Matt and I did a little crackerjack detective work and and learned that the owner's son and daughter in law live next door, and his son was the realtor.  They were very easy to work with, and once we knew the house was ours, Matt and I drove by several times a week because we were so excited.

And also because it was during election season and Matt liked to check out what lawn signs the neighbors had displayed so he could try and gauge the political climate of the neighborhood.

One night as I drove by, the owner was walking out of the house with who I assume was his daughter.  He was walking with a cane and she was filling the trunk of the car with boxes.  And I'll admit that I teared up a little bit because there he was, leaving the house where he lived for fifty five years, brought his children home, raised his family, lost his wife, and grew old.

Fifty five Christmases.  Hundreds of birthdays.  Thousands of stories and decisions and memories.  And millions of the day to day things that make up a lifetime.

And Matt and I are moving in with years of life and a family and lots of Christmases still ahead of us.

At closing, when he slid us the keys, his son/our neighbor said to us, "Lots of life, love, and laughter in that house."

And then on Tuesday morning, the doorbell rang.  We had an appointment for someone to come and give us an estimate on cutting down a tree, so when I opened the door to see a man standing there with a giant wrapped gift I thought "THE LANDSCAPERS IN THIS TOWN ARE SO FRIENDLY. YOU HAVE MY BUSINESS SIR."

I stood there waiting for the main to give me the estimate on the tree, but he was just standing there like he was waiting for me to do something.  Finally he said, "Um, miss, I need you to sign for these flowers" and I realized he was holding out a clipboard, and that he was not in fact a tree trimmer, but a florist delivery man.

There were two beautiful poinsettias inside the package, and this card from the previous owner.

It's only been seven days so far, but there's been lots of happiness.

And lots of trips to Lowe's.

But let's focus on the happiness.

And the Christmas decorations.