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I can't believe how fast this month has gone by!

The kids are arriving on Tuesday, so we're getting geared up for that and trying to get a bunch of projects done.

Yesterday, I dug a ditch to handle a damp area at the corner of the house. It was pretty long, 10 to 15 feet, so by the time I got done breaking up the sod and doing the basic shaping, I was beat and figured I'd get it prettied up today.

Rain was in the forecast, but most of it passed us by so I wasn't too concerned about it. And then... the heavens did open up and pour copious quantities of water upon us. (You're about as surprised as I am, right?)

So I went out with the umbrella to check on the newly-repaired gutter (which was working perfectly and the water was running into the main ditch just as it should) and discovered that so much water was running off the addition roof that the new ditch had actually filled up and was overflowing. (The gutter only runs the length of the house proper, there's nothing on the addition)

So I grabbed the hoe and the shovel and cleared the bit of loose dirt that was preventing it from running and very quickly dug a little further along the house to catch some of the waterfall and the crisis was averted just in time for it to stop raining.

On the one hand, I'm very grateful that my physical condition has improved sufficiently that I actually could go out and do that, but boy, was I worn out afterwards! The digging muscles were so tired that when I went out today, I got about a three foot length tidied and just ran completely out of steam.

That being said, that corner of the house is dryer than I have ever seen it the day after rain. And when you're too tired to dig, there's always... the weed whacker! So that's what I did for another hour or so, just worked on the hillside where it's threatening to become a grass jungle. And now I have another ditch to clean out because of all the clippings, LOL!

Still, the outdoor work is doing me a world of good, I think at the rate I'm going I'll be down a size by the end of the month, I'm so close to that point now that it's annoying me terribly--I have a bunch of jeans that still don't quite fit.

Keith and I took care of another "project" after the weed whacking was done and I'd had a chance to get a nice relaxing cup of coffee. We shut the electricity off so we could remove a wire that led outside to a dead motion-sensor spotlight unit.

They actually just drilled a hole straight through the wall and siding and attached the wires to the back of a power outlet in the house... not exactly good practice or SAFE or anything... so we decided we'd better check the power to the shed, and it worked exactly the same way, just on another outlet (on, I might add, the same circuit as the light was on)

I suspect that things are a bit safer now with the shed and light completely disconnected. Anyone want to place a bet that they didn't wire the addition off the two power outlets at the end of the house?
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Some of my friends in more northerly latitudes have dealt with the winter from hell this year, these pics go out to them:

Green grass and flowers:

This is actually our dead tree that won't be here in another six days--we were delighted to find out that because the main power line runs through our property to service the valley below, the electric company won't charge us for removing the tree, they will just come and get it. *makes note in case any other tree gets struck by lightning or dies near the power lines*

In other news... our next door neighbor's house was the site of a meth raid today. I'll talk more about it privately.
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Okay, here's the first one, it's the run of water as it stands currently. I've cleaned out some of the dirt, but not a lot yet.

Here's where it just comes out of the hill

It may not look like much, but that's moving quite a lot of water. As I get it dug out a little better, I'll be able to give a much better estimate of exactly how much water it's producing. Even if it's not potable, this particular job needs to be done so that it flows smoothly and doesn't keep bubbling out of the hill, else one day we'll wake up to find half the hillside and part of the road fallen into the driveway.

Strength training, strength training... yeah, that's the ticket.
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Not much exciting happening, to continue the theme of "I have no life", but that's just how it is sometimes.

It's warmed up here beautifully, I was just gloating over the ten-day forecast that shows we'll be in the fifties and sixties for the entire period. Of course, this means that it's time to go outside and do yard work.

Droning on about yard work )

This will all have to be figured out while we work out how we're going to accomplish all the OTHER stuff that needs to be done. A lot of it we can do ourselves, and I figure the exercise does me good--I try to think of it as strength training.

Now for some boring weight stuff )

[livejournal.com profile] heavyarms02 is temporarily laid off from his main job, but hopefully he'll be getting a call in another week at most--they got through the worst part of the year already, they're about to hit the busy season. He happily has the part time job to fall back on, and they've increased his hours, so it's not nearly as bad as it could be.

Ben is doing well, his hours fluctuate lately, but that's normal at this time of year--he'll get scheduled for only twenty hours but then someone will quit and they call him in. His hours will also increase once we get into the spring/summer season. He's actually working on illustrations for a children's book, although we aren't sure if the project will ever get off the ground. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

I think my stepdaughter is going to visit us soon, she's actually only about six hours away (as opposed to about 12 hours away from Massachusetts). It will be nice to see her, we were just talking about how she and Ben used to watch every horror movie they could get their hands on and mock them unmercifully... Our house is not the place to be if you expect to watch a movie in rapt silence, LOL!

My two are doing well, my son is going college in the fall, and [livejournal.com profile] heavyarms02's two daughters will be arriving at the end of May. Rumor has it that Jesse will also be making his annual visit, so I guess we'll have plenty to do.

And now back to work. *cracks whip over self*
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I was just complaining nothing was happening...

But we had a really strong cold front come in yesterday, and we lost power for the first time since we moved in.

It went out at about 2:15am, and even though I was so tired I should have been sleeping through the whole thing, I found I was wide-awake, likely because the wind gusts were strong enough that they were really roaring through the trees and making a lot of noise--well, that and we were worried about the furnace pilot light going out, which is really a two-person operation to light.

The cats were really funny when the power was out, they just seemed so puzzled that everyone was up and no one seemed to have the brains to turn on a light...

In the way of such things, the pilot light was fine until about fifteen minutes after the power was restored when the heat suddenly died. I wondered if I'd be dealing with a repair of the furnace in a few hours when the company we use opened up, but happily, we got it re-lit--probably it was just a air bubble in the gas line, or even a gust of wind at just the right strength and angle forcing its way down the flue.

My money is on an air bubble, because it took us two tries to relight the pilot--the first time, nothing happened.

It was fine on the second try, though, and there's been no trouble since. I suppose it even could have been just a little crud in the lines, that happens too. Pilot flame looked good, though, all blue, no flickers, so I'm not going to borrow trouble I don't need.

One more big push on the project at work and hopefully things are going to settle down for a while...
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Power tools, YAY! I wielded the weedwhacker today, scalped the clumps of grass on the edge of the ditch and hit a fairly decent-sized area that hadn't gotten mown last year... The weedwhacker is fairly small, one of the smallest ones you can get that is still gas-powered, but oy, the vibration! My hands are still quivering, which makes typing quite an adventure.

Still, I'm glad I got it done since we're supposed to get pretty heavy rain over the next few days. Here in WV, the seasons are winter, mud, and summer and fall, with spring only showing up after a few dry days and disappearing again almost immediately with the next cloudburst.

It's been lovely and warm here all week, though, in the sixties and even tapping the seventies when the sun comes out, which means welcome relief from the high gas bills from running the furnace, always a good thing.

In other news, the refrigerator has arrived at Lowes in Buckhannon, so hopefully in a little while Keith will return from his errands and we'll be taking the trip to fetch it. Refrigerator! YAY! Been a long time in coming, thank you SO much, Pam F.

I can't wait to be able to have salads and stuff.... :)
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Thanks to a birthday gift from [livejournal.com profile] advinius, I was able to get one of those "contractor specials" over at Home Depot and I got four overhead lights, the ones that take the ordinary-type light bulbs.

Today Keith and Ben installed the last of them and all the ceiling fans are finally gone, with much rejoicing.

It really helps a lot, not only in avoiding decapitation* of the taller members of the household, but in making the ceiling seem not *quite* so claustrophobic.

I rewired my first lamp today, too. I was pleased. I have one of those lamps that can be hung on a hook/nail on the wall. It is, now that I think about it, over thirty years old, and the switch finally went a few weeks ago. Given the advanced age, I replaced the cord, too, just to be safe, and it's working perfectly now.

Keith is currently swapping out a couple of wall switches--the switches are of the maddening up/down = on center = off variety, which drives me nuts, so I picked up a couple of those when I got the cord and socket for the lamp at the hardware store.

It's pretty cold out today, it's snowing, although they say it isn't going to amount to more than an inch or two. Delenn is settling in nicely, although I do have to laugh--she finally got enrolled in school on Tuesday, which turned out to be a half day, Wednesday and Thursday were cancelled, she went on Friday and... Monday is a holiday, LOL!

I suppose it's a nice way for her to ease into her new schedule. One of the neighbor kids is in her class, and with supreme nine-year-old directness, he came walking over on Thursday to ask "is that girl here?"

I'm glad there are kids her age around here. They've been having a great time sledding and generally running around the yard. He came in to watch TV for a while today when the cold drove them in, now she is over there to do the same.

Temps are supposed to start rising, by the end of the week we'll be close to fifty again. A very weird winter, but it's almost spring and I can't wait.

*yeah, yeah, I saw the Mythbusters episode and I know a household ceiling fan doesn't have enough force to decapitate anyone.
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[livejournal.com profile] heavyarms02's daughter arrived safely last Wednesday, as most of the flist knows, which is in part why I have been so scarce. The other part is because I got to be sick with the flu, which started on Thursday night.

Despite this, we managed to get down to Lowes and purchase the stove, and the plumber came by today to hook it up--since we had problems with gas line to the water heater being clogged, it made much more sense for him to come by to do it, then if the line needed blowing out or replacement, he could take care of it immediately.

So we now have a stove, and I'm healthy enough to fully appreciate it. Goodbye to inadequate hotplate and toaster oven... good riddance to no counter space... we can actually COOK!
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Heh. I'm tempted to describe it as an epic journey, but actually, what I did this afternoon was crawl under the modular to try to fix that end cap in the duct work of the heating system, which we are continuing to have issues with.

The real "fix", of course, is to remove each section of the ducting and get it properly sealed and cleaned, and replaced where necessary. Ben carefully taped the end cap into place when he was under there a few days ago with... what else? Duct tape.

The duct run is old and pretty dirty, though, and [livejournal.com profile] heavyarms02, who did the original temporary repair, was concerned that the tape wouldn't hold. He had tried using self-tapping sheet metal screws, but likely due to a critter getting in from another open spot in the run, the cap had gotten knocked loose and two of the three screws were lost somewhere in the mud so it couldn't just be re-attached, thus the tape.

Unfortunately, he was right, and the cap fell back off the moment the air pressure of the furnace running hit it. We had a couple of cold days and it sucked because if the furnace wasn't actually running, the cold air was poofing up from underneath through the registers, making the furnace run a lot more often and making a nasty draft. When the wind kicked up, the pilot light kept getting blown out.

Normally Ben would handle this, but he was working all day, he isn't off until like Sunday or something, and we're going to get a cold snap before that. So... I got out the flashlight with the dying battery (need to pick up another battery but haven't yet), a chunk of plastic to kneel on, and a short piece of 2" x 6". I also grabbed a couple of chunks of cinder block to make up the difference in case the wood was too short.

Even though the cap is closer to the other side of the house, it's much easier to reach by crawling under the front. I moved the wood and tarp contraption that's serving as skirting, turned on the light, and sure enough, there's the end cap on the ground.

And thus began the descent...

It's a nasty job, going under there when it's raining. We've done a lot by way of drainage ditches and the like, but there's still an awful lot of trash under there, it's muddy, it's wet, plus there are spots where it reeks of old cat piss (we think there were several feral cats living under there at one point, and they were definitely in the duct work because one of them came up through the heating register and Ben found her in his room.)

It's not a pleasant thing to get under there at the best of times, and it's why we are waiting for Spring to do more extensive work--when the danger of freezing is past in a couple of months, we can open up the underside of the house to let the air circulate and help the ground to dry out more, making the working environment a great deal more pleasant. Certainly it's already better than it was, we have managed to get one corner of the house nicely dried out but there's more ditch-digging that must be done to finish the job.

But I managed. I had obviously worn old clothes for this, piece of plastic notwithstanding, and at one point I actually had to lie in the mud so I could get the right angle and bracing to get the cap on securely since the duct it fits on isn't perfectly round. YUCK!

Once I had it on, I put the piece of 2" x 6" under it, with a piece of that broken cinderblock making it level and snug against the bottom so it wouldn't fall down. I was glad to be finished and crawling back towards the light a few minutes later.

I was so mud-covered that I actually stripped down to bare skin right in the foyer and went straight to the showers. I've got to pick up those clothes and pre-rinse them in the tub or something now so I can get them washed without clogging the washing machine drain with silt, but happily, this seems to have done the trick. There is no longer a chilly draft rising up from the register behind me, and the heat is already not kicking on as often. Perhaps if we get a few dry, mild days, Ben can get back under there to check to see if it's still secure and not leaning or anything, and maybe seal off those edges with fresh duct tape, which I didn't bother with today.

Next year will be much better--getting under there cleaned out and perhaps spreading a good layer of gravel/stone is definitely on the priority list when the weather improves this year!
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We finally have it. I'm going to leave the space heater at the far end of the house in place for now just in case, but it's amazing the difference a proper furnace makes!

Wow. Water. Heat. Next thing you know, I'll have a stove and refrigerator...

Maybe someone will put it in my stocking )
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Last night, I was introduced to another of the joys of Southern Living: The Palmetto Bug.

Around here, they call it a Water Bug. Bastard was walking across the sink bold as you please, and it was big. It is, I discovered, the American Cockroach. I suspect that they are called water bugs/palmetto bugs because unlike the more common German cockroaches, they are much less likely to infest a house. They can, but it's not the norm, and since we don't really have any places near the house that would encourage them to breed, I'm pretty unconcerned.

This one probably climbed up the pipe under the sink, we have to finish sealing off the floor where the pipe comes through so we can install the shelf under there. I need to pick up some steel wool to fill in that area before closing it off so the rodents don't try to get in when the weather cools, although with the cats, that is likely now a non-issue. As I've said repeatedly, the former owner half-assed everything, and the hole he cut for the drain pipe was far larger than necessary. The plumber was the one who suggested the steel wool, and when I read up on it, I discovered it just keeps the critters from trying to gnaw away at your patching job.

Hopefully, as we slowly get some of the repairs done, the likelihood of this sort of nocturnal vistitor will get even less. I'm not going to worry unless I start seeing them regularly, especially if they are in varying life stages--and I would think if the house was infested, that would have happened already once we got the heat on and any eggs started hatching.

So many things to do, so little time...
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Well, we at last have hot water. The shower I took the day it was installed was the best one I've ever had in my life!

Now we're playing catch-up on things that were just too much to do when there was no water, like mopping the floor, getting all the laundry done (the plumber hooked up the washer and dryer while he was at it) and slowly getting the house in better order.

You don't think of it, but even something simple like wiping a shelf with a damp sponge becomes a total chore when you don't have water, and you can only numb your hands with the cold for so long before you just start doing the bare minimum you can get away with. Worse, there are some really dirty jobs to do that we kept putting off just because it was so hard to clean up!

One thing that was fairly humorous was the hot water heater saga. I think I had mentioned that the hot water heater was going to need to be replaced. I was looking at tankless ones for several reasons. The alcove the tank is in, which is only accessible from outside, is poorly insulated, and if we had a few days of extra-cold weather, we'd be running the risk of a problem if the pipes froze. Further, even if we wrapped the tank and pipes, with that set-up, it would run more than average. With the tankless, it gets triggered by water flowing through it--no water, it doesn't go on.

So I looked around on line and I found a decent one that wasn't drastically more expensive than a regular one and asked the plumber if he had ever installed one.

He said no, he hadn't, but he was very interested. Our plumber's name is Paul, and given that I could find a full installation manual for our model right on line and that I had already seen that he did meticulous work, I was very comfortable with letting him install it. I did not know until now that many plumbers can do natural gas work--lines that must be sealed are lines that must be sealed, be they PVC, cast iron, or what. He'd already checked out the lines and said they looked to be decent, checked all the fittings, so we'd gone ahead and turned the gas on and the company tested and all was well.

So I went online and showed him the model, and with a few mouse-clicks, found it at Lowes in Bridgeport, much to his amusement. So we had agreed he would pick it up pending my hearing from the carpenter, and get it installed.

Since it would be at least a few weeks for the carpenter, I let Paul know and he scheduled the installation. It went smoothly, but the heater wouldn't light-- it turned out the gas pressure was way down. We made arrangements for him to return the day after so I could get the gas company in first, and he and his helper headed out.

I called the gas company, and they came out right away because low pressure could be caused by something as serious as an underground leak, but happily, it was just a blockage in the line going to the water heater. Worst-case scenario would have been a short length of line needed to be replaced, so I called Paul and let him know so that he'd be prepared to do it if necessary.

Even better, it just needed to be blown out--since the gas hadn't been used for nearly two years, it had just gotten a bit cruddy in the line and wasn't a big deal. And by the end of the day, I had my washer, my dryer, and blessed hot water!

Paul liked the heater so much that he's going to get the same kind when his dies, and the carpenter is dying to see it. It's really neat--instead of a massive tank, it's a roughly three by two foot box that hangs on the wall. And the hot water flows until you're ready for it to stop! No more having to wait for a shower because someone else just took one!

I wonder if I should charge admission to see it?
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Sounds like it could be the title of a song a la "Does your chewing gum lose it's flavor on the bedpost overnight", doesn't it?

Busy, busy, busy!

Since the house was vacant for over a year, all the ditches were grown over. This has been quite an experience for me--on Cape Cod, all you have to do is wait for a while after it rains and all the water promptly goes bye-bye. Sandy soil and all that.

Here, we're on a mountain and thus get run-off, and the soil composition is very heavy in clay. I am finding that soil with clay in it is like a sponge. First, it sucks up water until it's completely saturated and then leaks it out again.

This is likely marvelous for the plants when it gets dry out, you can water and the water will be available for a while, but it also means attention needs to be paid to drainage.

So there are ditches all over the place. By the look of it, the natural path of the water is paid attention to whenever possible, just adjusted. And, as I mentioned, the ditches are mostly overgrown because when they aren't full of water, the grass finds that lovely moist soil a treat.

From almost our first week here, Ben and I have been tending to ditches. We have one of those small claw rakes, and I usually rake out any leaves and dead grass blades. We have a mini camp shovel as well, so I can do a minor bit of digging without hurting myself or wearing myself out--I usually use it for things like moving a couple of rocks or moving a bit of mud that's blocking the flow. Ben does the heavy stuff, the actual digging and edging and lifting.

Long ramble about ditches under the cut )

Fixing the ditches near the house hasn't been so simple. It's awfully swampy around it, and the back ditch didn't seem to be draining. Ben had found one end of the pipe and was pretty sure of where the other was, but there didn't seem to be any real water flow.

We got a new hoe a couple of days ago, it's more spade-shaped than the traditional hoe, but perfect for ditches, and yesterday I went out and started at the main ditch and just started scraping away at what looked to be a channel, a short length of about three feet. It's been wet enough that it's not too hard to do, the soil is very soft and scraped easily. Suddenly there was a burst of water. I had found the end of the pipe.

It was plugged with mud, so after I cleared the debris out of the channel, I cleaned the mud out with a stick and the water flowed nicely. But when I went behind the house, well, that seemed to be another story. The water in the ditch seemed to still be sitting there, draining into the pipe but very slowly.

So, being practical minded, I calleed to Ben in the house and he passed me a bottle of food coloring through the window. It was blue, and I squirted some into the channel. The water *was* flowing, just really slowly.

I went back to the end of the pipe. By now, the water was running clear. I waited... and waited... suddenly I saw a swirl of muddy water. I was hopeful that at last I was seeing the water from the ditch behind the house.

I saw what looked like a whisker in the pipe. It looked almost like a piece of pine needle. Then it moved backwards. Huh? What the....?

The second "whisker" made the telltale > that told me I was looking at a crawdad (crayfish). The neighbors had said there were lots of them around, and apparently, this one has taken up residence in my drain pipe!

I am actually debating laying a new pipe next to the old rather than just remove that one because they are really, really good to eat, they're basically a fresh-water lobster.

Ben and I are also talking about possibly taking advantage of the swampiness to dig a small pond. I would enjoy the chance to do some water gardening, and you can get mosquito fish hardy to -30. It's plenty far away enough from the house that it wouldn't be a problem, especially once the addition has been removed. We are going to be watching how much it dries out once the rainier season is over and decide then--if we dig it deep enough and a bit below the frost line (only 18" here), it should stay full no problem, and at 18" or so, we should be on pretty much solid clay at that point and thus it won't all leak away.

I'm really looking forward to having the major house problems fixed enough that we can start getting things for the yard!

At last!

Apr. 20th, 2006 02:11 am
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Thank goodness, we at last have running water! It's been a long wait, let me tell you! The plumber had to replace every line in the whole house.

We don't have hot water yet, we need to replace the hot water heater, but that's in progress, the plumber and I picked one out online that he could get locally, and depending on getting the old bathroom floor fixed, he'll install it. The floor there is weak and rotting, my guess is that inadequate ventilation and spills from the shower started it, and it slowly spread outward. Now, it needs to be replaced.

There are two bathrooms back to back, one was remodelled and in quite good shape other than the tub enclosure (more about that in a moment), and the other was cramped and tiny and rotted. So... the plumber unhooked everything. He left the lines capped and easily accessible so if we ever wanted to install a second bathroom or put in a laundry sink, it will be a simple job.

Being able to take out the fixtures will make it much easier for the carpenter to fix the floor. The plumber and I have agreed that unless it's going to take the carpenter weeks to get to me, it's probably better to have the floor fixed first, it will make it much, much easier on them when they go to install the new hot water heater.

As far as the newer bathroom goes, aside from all shelving and the mirror being stripped off the walls, it's in great shape. We'll take the mirror from the old bath, we already took the seat from the old commode, and the tub enclosure, rather than being the full vinyl wrap-around, is made of the vinyl sheets that are glued to the wall.

I am not sure if the owner did it (likely) or if it had more to do with warping due to repeated heat/cold exchanges and dryness, but part of it has lifted away from the wall and there's a bump in it. This bump can't be smoothed down, there is more plastic than wall. So that will need to be replaced.

In the meantime, though, it's a simple enough thing to carefully cover the enclosure with plastic and make sure that it's drying out thoroughly between showers. And installing those sheets, thank goodness, is not difficult at all. My landlord did it when a leak in the wall caused it to slowly disintegrate, and it was a simple job, it just required *cough* a little care and attention to detail.

I am quite pleased that there will be a relatively simple thing to fix!

In other, good news, the gas lines are fine, the plumber checked them out carefully. So the gas gets turned on tomorrow, meaning the water heater can be done depending on the carpenter, who is coming by on Friday...

Then we look into replacing the ducts. I think that probably I am not going to bother with the central air part of the job right now, because I doubt we can afford the unit at this time. So probably what I will have the heating company do is to replace the heating ducts, inspect the furnace, and we'll be good to go for the winter.

Once that is done, if there is any money left, we will fix at least the landing at the front door. Fair warning to all potential visitors: The price of visiting may be a pressure-treated 8" 2 x 6, available for about sixteen dollars at Butcher Layfield hardware down the street. If enough folk come to visit, we'll get a whole deck out of it. :)
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I went out and took a bunch yesterday. I took some more today, but sadly, they are all blurred--I think I inadvertantly changed a setting on the camera. In the meantime, here's the ones from yesterday (under the cut for the bandwidth-impaired).

Lotsa Pics! )
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We are here. Everything is out of the old house. Now all that's left is the unpacking. Of course, that's going to take a while...

Ben and I sat down and talked and today we are going to tend to kitchen things. We'll decide where to put the dishes and where to store the food and all that stuff. We have a tiny refrigerator and a small hot plate for the moment, which is plenty for he and I. When we know what's going on as far as the work the house needs and so forth, we can better decide what we're going to get.

It's hard to believe that we would be all moved saved for some odds and ends in a storage unit and still have stuff so much up in the air, but I suppose that's pretty normal, really. A lot of things couldn't be done until we were actually here, like having someone around for a repair person.

We don't know what we are going to do with the addition. We may just remove it, depending on what the contractor thinks insofar as the security and stability of the unit.

If we want to remove it, we can take the bay window out of it as a replacement for the front window and the neighbors will gladly take the shell, as they need a storage shed, so we may well do it that way. So I guess it's more hurry up and wait, and start figuring out where to put stuff. Ben's going to be looking for work starting tomorrow, anything he can get will be a help, but I'm already seeing a difference in the cost of living just by going to the grocery store. Twenty cents cheaper here, fifty cents there... I can see it adds up rapidly.

We didn't buy too much food on this trip because we haven't really gotten a good inventory of what we have since it's in boxes and everywhere, but once we do that, we'll be able to shop better. We got enough perishables for a few days, that will hold us as we continue to put things away.

Now, I just want a few days to rest and regroup so we can start building our new life. We're already friends with our younger neighbors, they are over at least a couple of times a day, and we're already discussing stuff we want to do. I think I'm going to let J.R.'s mom graze her horse on one of my hillsides, it seems like a friendly animal. Certainly, it was very interested in the moving procedures--I was putting stuff away from one trip and saw the horse down in the field watching me curiously.

We have a couple of "must" tend to chores that we'll take care of promptly. We have to pull down the porch, it's just not safe. We're going to put a simple set of stairs in its place for now, JR has already promised to help with that. We have to direct the water from the front gutter so it isn't undermining the pilings on the house or soaking the unfinished wall, and we need to get the plumber in to fix the water. Then we need to see how bad one of the bathroom floors is--it feels spongy, but it's hard to say if it just needs underflooring replaced or if the problem goes all the way into the floor joists.

There's a lot to do, but now at least we're here to do it!

The cats seem to be doing much better now. While we were on the last trip, JR and Amanda popped by once or twice a day just to "visit" with them. Binky still seems to be having a tough time handling it, but is coming around, and now we won't be just taking off on him again. We have let Zarozinia, Godzilla, and Charcoal outside, they very much wanted to go and we were in and out where they could see us. The first time Zara went out, she went right back in again, and Godzilla did the same. Charcoal was happy to poke around with Ben in sight, but was glad to come back in after about a half an hour.

Today Zara is running around outside quite happily as Ben and I go in and out, she will probably be the first to be allowed to come and go at will, and we will slowly introduce the other kitties to the new area.

We have a stray hanging around already, a pretty black Manx female. She seems very friendly, so I don't know if she belongs to someone around here and just visits or if she belonged to the previous owners. She seems to like Ben... we just managed to reduce our kitty population by two, since Mark took Gabby and Rydia, and I would really like it to stay that way, but if she keeps hanging around, I'm at least going to get her spayed... and if I do that, you know perfectly well we'll have eleven cats again... I guess I'll be that crazy old mountain cat lady, but maybe the local humane society has some kind of spay assistance like the MA one did.
zola: (Default)
We're here. Ben and my neighbor are still sleeping, and I may just let them sleep for a few more hours and we can leave early tomorrow. I am going to be going down to the RMV to turn in my old plates and then I get to go down to the insurance agency to cancel my policy so I don't pay for a car that is no longer here...

I think two trips is going to be plenty to finish up, especially now that we have help. Today we're going to get the shed stuff and the attic and the last odds and ends in the bedroom, kitchen and utility room. I'm betting that we have room left over for stuff that is already packed and ready to go, and that means it will leave just a bunch of easily loaded boxes for the last trip, always of the good :)
zola: (Default)
Well... I found a house in West Virginia that was attractively located and priced, and I called the agent.

We actually have a prayer of getting this one. The real estate agent needed some kind of earnest money, and I talked it over with the family members interested in moving, and we're sending a check tomorrow.

I have the name of a local bank for financing, and I talked to the person who will be handling my account. He is sending paperwork for us to fill out.

I also took the plunge and talked to my mom. See, I could come up with the down payment myself--I have stocks that I can liquidate with ease. However, if I can manage it at all, I would prefer to leave those stocks in reserve.

So I made her an offer to do a formal loan which would be fully paid back when our tax return came in this year. Because I do have the down payment already, she said that she would think about it. I explained that I was just trying to make sure we were in the best possible position, and she felt it made a lot of sense. I really had the impression she would actually think about it--I don't think it was an excuse just to get me off the phone.

Whether she will actually DO anything or not remains to be seen, but I at least tried.

People can feel free to send me money, too, of course... I take Paypal and of course cash and checks...

*grins* boy, I wish it were that easy...

The best part of the move will be that it will put me a lot closer to the people I love. It will also give me a place that truly belongs to me, something I've never had before. I hope it works out.
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