Saturday, February 20, 2016

all you need is love and the appropriate level of humidity

One day late last week, I noticed that our neighbor Diane's patio was covered in water.  It was a sunny day and the temps were above freezing, so I figured the icicles on her house were melting.

And then, on Saturday morning, we noticed that our side yard and backyard were filling up with water, which led us to believe that the source of the forming glacier was something more substantial than a few icicles.  

Since the temperature was about, oh, FIVE DEGREES, we assumed that Diane had a frozen pipe that burst.  When she got home, Matt knocked on her door to alert her to the flood, but she didn't answer.  So, we went on with our lives like newbie homeowners without an insurance-related care in the world and woke up on Sunday to a pond in our backyard.

And our side yard.
And a damp crawlspace.

So, we did what any responsible homeowners would do and called the police department for the second time in as many months.

It's only a matter of time until the put us on a do not call list.

When the officer arrived and surveyed the damage, he said, "Whoa.  I've never seen anything like this."

Our neighbor still wasn't home, so the officer and Matt looked around next door, and after searching for the source of a few puddles the officer discovered that the water was actually coming from the next house up.

Specifically, their garden hose.

Which they'd left on, running at a moderate to full blast.

I peeked out the kitchen window while the officer woke up the homeowner and she came outside in her pajamas to learn that her garden hose had been running for days and flooding the yards of the next five houses and probably racking up quite the water bill.

Ironically, while there were six inches of water in our backyard, the inside of our house was hovering around 12% relative humidity.  By comparison, the annual average humidity in the Sahara desert is 25%.  We'd purchased a humidifier the week before, but it broke and flooded and ruined our bureau and I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

But, it was AWFUL.  Every time we touched a light switch, sparks flew.  Our voices were hoarse.  And both Matt and I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday because of dry air.


Finally, at 2 am, as I leaned over the glass of water on my nightstand and took deep, dramatic breaths, Matt said, "Do you want me to go to WalMart and buy a humidifier?"

Forget the Valentine's Day chocolates and flowers.  True love is a man who is willing to go to WalMart in sub zero temperatures at 2 am to buy you a humidifier.

In the end, we decided to tough it out.  We'd ordered a new humidifier online and it arrived Tuesday, around the same time that our backyard started to dry out.

And Matt did get me beautiful flowers for Valentine's Day.

I've done some research on orchids, and they can last forever, as long as the humidity is right.

One way or another, I think we can make that happen.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

10 things you don't want to hear or say during a home renovation. and we've heard and said them all.

"I'm going to turn the power back on.  If you see smoke or hear a loud pop, run."

"This project might require me to rent a dump truck."

"Do you smell some sort of burning smell or is that just me?"

"I saw on Pinterest..."

"The floor needs just one more coat of polyurethane."

"Well, that paint color is brighter than expected."

"I think I measured wrong."

"Uh oh.  The paint leaked through the drop cloth.  Onto the freshly refinished floors."

"Let skip the wallpaper removal and just rip the walls down and put up new drywall."

"Well, we know for next time not to leave the door open before we sand the hardwood floor for four hours or the whole house will get really dusty."

Friday, February 12, 2016

snow and dinner and chocolate milk

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself an outgoing person, but being home alone, all day, four days a week was killing me.  I am my own biggest fan and I was even getting tired of myself.  The travel ban was lifted last Thursday, and because I felt like a free woman, I scheduled a meeting for 9:30 the next morning.

And the next morning, it snowed.  The roads were just wet, but because I hate driving in any form of winter precipitation, I left two hours early to drive 30 miles. 

This week, I had another morning meeting scheduled, and when I opened the door to leave I saw this outside.  

I PANIC when I have to drive in actual snow, so I decided to turn on the news to check the weather and traffic.  However, we canceled our cable this week, and the only channel we are currently getting is the local ABC affiliate in SARASOTA, FLORIDA.  Well, according to Suncoast 7, the weather was just lovely.  Not a snowflake in sight.

So I took eight thousand deep breaths, put on my big girl snow boots, and headed out.  And I made it around the block before I turned right around and came home and waited an hour for everything to melt.  


During the past few months, I have become a self-professed meal planning pro.  And then Tuesday the wheels fell off and I realized I had no dinner plan. It was snowing outside, of course, which meant I was not venturing out to the grocery store for ingredients and had to work with what I had.

I employed the strategy of "If you put enough cheese on it, it will be delicious."  

When Matt came home from work and asked what was for dinner, I actually said the words, "Tuesday Pantry Surprise."

At least it wasn't my other cleverly named go-to last minute option, a YOYO dinner. 

You're On Your Own.

Matt usually wakes up at least an hour before I do.  He kisses me goodbye, but he gets dressed in the pitch dark so  as to not wake me because I am a girl who enjoys her sleep.  This morning, because I had another early meeting (BACK TO THE REAL WORLD), we were up at the same time.

And at 6:15 in the morning, he carried on the most chipper conversation about how turkey lunch meat tastes better when it's "ruffled" on a sandwich as opposed to laying flat, just like chocolate milk tastes better when the chocolate is added after the milk is poured into the glass as opposed to before, and how he couldn't believe I've never tried Ovaltine.

You know what I think about at 6:15 in the morning?  Where is my coffee and how hot can I get the shower?

Opposites attract.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

at least i didn't write crossfit

I had a doctor's appointment first thing Monday morning, and when I checked in, the receptionist handed me an updated patient information form to complete.

I LOVE filling out forms like that, and the questions started out pretty basic.  Do you wear your seat belt in the car?  Do you smoke?  Has your insurance information changed?

And then, I got to the question "Do you exercise?"

I wrote "yes."

The next question was "If yes, how often?"

I wrote "three times per week."

The next question was "What type of exercise?"

And here is where I cannot explain what sort of dishonest, self-inflated athletic version of myself took over, but before I realized what was happening, I'd written "jogging."


My mom and I walk moderately paced laps around the local mall every few days.  That is the extent of my exercise routine.

In fact, I jog so infrequently that I can remember the last time it happened.  It was Memorial Day weekend TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN.  Michelle and I had rented a place down the shore and had to catch the jitney to the bar. and we jogged about a block to the jitney pick up stop.

But there, in ink, on an official medical document, I claimed I was a jogger.  I panicked for a few seconds.  I certainly couldn't cross it out and write "walking," because that would look dumb.  I also couldn't ask the receptionist for a new form due to grossly exaggerating my exercise level, so I just left it there and hoped that the doctor wouldn't choose to question me about my jogging habits.

And thankfully, she didn't say a word about it.

But I feel like I should jog this week.

Although, maybe I should wait until Memorial Day.  Why break tradition?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

and i was the english major

My brother and sister and I have a group text, and it really gets busy during election season.  Last Monday, as the Iowa caucus results came it, let's just say there were a lot of corny jokes.

It was a-maize-ing.

I knew the group text would be busy on Saturday night because of the Republican debate, but I didn't realize we would be discussing such controversial topics.

Can't wait until convention season.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

all 732 trips to home depot were well worth it

Back in December I wrote about tackling our first room renovation in our new house - my office.  This picture of the office is from the online listing.  You can obviously see why we couldn't pass up this house! 

And this is what it looked like the day we moved in.

After we pulled up the carpet, we discovered that the floors had some sort of stain on them, and not the kind of stain that's supposed to be on a hardwood floor.  It took a LOT of sanding (And dust. Oh the dust.  I am still dusting.) and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to bleach the stain out.

Then it was time to paint the walls, stain the floor, and put up new baseboards and window woodwork. 

And now, it looks like this. 

We still need to get blinds and hang some things on the walls, but I love it.

 My new office called for a new coffee mug.

 I'm going to need that coffee to tackle the next project - wallpaper.