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Category: home improvements

As often happens when you have two different services set up for the same day, the cable guy and the A/C guy showed up at the same time. The A/C guy quickly diagnosed the problem, and put in a quick fix (“should” last 24 hours, so at least it’ll get me through the night) and promised to come back tomorrow with the right parts. And the landlord sent him! So I don’t have to pay him! I guess renting does have its perks.

The cable guy found all the rest of my channels, so now I have the full complement of 208 ESPNs and 8517 movie channels. The husband will be so happy! Now the TiVo can tape all the shows here while we are in transit. Good thing we have two TiVos!

I had entirely too much trouble locating the appliance accessories I needed. Thankfully, the delivery and installation process went much more smoothly.

The delivery guys called before hand, and they showed up right at the beginning of their delivery window. They were a little concerned that they had the wrong washer and dryer, as we didn’t buy a matching set. I assured them that we did that on purpose, as we picked out the Consumer Reports recommended machines, and those typically don’t come in a matching pair.

I showed the installer guy all the parts I had bought the day before, and he pointed out that I had purchased a 4-prong RANGE power cord. Not a dryer power cord. WTH?! (To the dad: that means ‘what the heck.’) What’s with appliances not coming with, oh, um power cords? Ranges, too? I had been so excited to finally find a 4-prong power cord (there were 3-prong guys everywhere), that I grabbed the first one I saw. Which apparently was for a range.

Luckily, as the husband likes to point out, I’m purty. So the installer guy had pity on me and threw in the right power cord. For free! Yay! Being a girl doesn’t always suck!

They had the machines installed in no time, and gave me the quick run-down on how the new-fangled machines worked. They set them both to do a short cycle, then told me they’d be good to go once they finished.

So I did what anybody would do if they had just bought a new washer and dryer: I ran out and bought something to wash and dry!!

I found the nearest Kohl’s, as they carry my favoritest towels. And I made sure they were on sale – there’s no reason to buy those towels at full price when they go 40% or 50% off every other week.

There was a Sears on the way, so I returned the extra washer hoses. And also a Best Buy, so I returned the range power cord.

I bought the towels to, um, you know, furnish the guest bathroom? Since we’ll soon be having regular guests! And then some jeans. Because¬†I live in the land of the deep fried butter now!

I ran a load of towels, followed by a comforter, a load of jeans, and a load of darks. Everything seemed to work! I kept forgetting to close the detergent tray in the washer, but there’s a pause button on the washer that halts the load and unlocks the door, so I was able to remedy the situation. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t notice that you forget – I hope that it figures it out for you and halts the load. I am pretty sure that I will find out at some point. ūüôā

The best part is, the washer and dryer both play a happy little tune when the load is done! So you can pretend that laundry is a joy and not a drudgery. We’ll see how long that trick works.

just like legos!

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traditional sectionalThe husband and I have been thinking about replacing the basement furniture for months, but we just hadn’t gotten around to doing the research.¬† (You know, dragging the husband into furniture stores.)

So this weekend, I was doing a little sofa research on my laptop, whilst sitting on our decrepit sofa, and I ran across the coolest. couch. ever.  And even though it was 8 pm on a Friday night, I told the husband that we were going to Havertys.  Immediately!

me: LOOK at this couch!¬† You can turn it into anything you want! <Me shoving my laptop in his face while he’s trying to play wow.>

the husband: Wait … just a … I’m fighting off 8 …. ok, now what am I looking at?

me:¬† it’s a sectional!¬† but you can turn it into whatever you want!

the husband: Um, it says it’s 6 pieces … isn’t that a little bit much?

me: no, each piece is just like one chair, so that’s only 6 seats.¬† Or less, depending on how you put it all together.

the husband: hmm.  I see.

me: So let’s go!¬† I want to see it!

the husband: But … we’re watching a movie …

me: You’re playing wow and I’m surfing the internet.¬† Tivo the movie!¬† We can ‘finish’ it when we get back.¬† It’s not like it’s that good …

the husband: Can’t we go tomorrow?¬† It’ll still be there tomorrow …

me: But did you SEE it?  I want to go sit on it!!

the husband: <sigh> Ok, let me finish killing this guy, then we can go.

And so we screeched into the furniture store shortly before closing time, and we sat on the modular sectional.¬† And we chatted with Reba, who took measurements for us, showed us their other sectionals, and didn’t rush us.

Saturday morning, we looked at some sectionals at Macy’s and at the Lazy Boy store, and the husband conceded that the first sofa was the best option.¬† So we went back to see our friend Reba, and we made the purchase.

It’ll be here in just a couple of days; and then just look at all the fun we can have!

a giant bed-couch!couch2couch4traditional sofa and loveseat couch5

So the husband and I went in for our allergy testing this morning.¬† While he is no doubt more allergic than I, I do experience some spring-time misery.¬† I spend minimal time outside in the spring to avoid the crushing sinus headache that always hits once I’ve hit my limit;¬† in bad tree-pollen years, such as we had a few years back, just walking to and from the car is enough to do the damage.

Turns out, after 52 scratch tests and 7 injection tests, that I am allergic to nothing.  nada.  There was no swelling or itching, just cute little pink dots at each of the test sites.

On the other hand, after 52 scratch tests and 3 injections tests, the husband is allergic to EVERYTHING.¬† Trees, grass, weeds, mold, dust mites, and cats.¬† Yeah, cats – like the two little darlings that sleep in the room with us every night, and who are unlikely to be banished anytime soon due to the husband’s general, um, pushover nature when it comes to the cats.

So the husband will soon be starting his allergy shot regimen, going in weekly for the next 6 months, to hopefully be desensitized to all of the ‘poisons’ that are currently plaguing him.¬† After 6 months, he has 4 and a half years of monthly visits to look forward to.¬† After a year, though, he should see a significant reduction in his allergies, and should be able to tone down the meds he needs to take.

I, on the other hand, suffer from a malady known as ‘non-allergic rhinitis.’¬† Which basically means I have all the same symptoms – runny nose, itchy throat, congestion, sinus headache – but not for the same reason.¬† My nose is extra-sensitive, and anything sets it off.¬† Like, say, huge amounts of tree pollen floating through the air.¬† Or the dust in my office – my coworkers have given up on the ‘bless-yous’, seeing as I’m just a fit of sneezes all day long.

My treatment involves a lifetime of nasal sprays and neti-pots.¬† There is no way to train my nose to give it up already.¬† [sigh]¬† Though, at least now I know I can give up the anti-histamines, seeing as I don’t seem to be having a histamine response.¬† [achoo!]¬† Excuse me.

happy, happy day!

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I came home from work this evening to behold a most wondrous sight:

No paper taped to the living room floor.  No plastic up the stairs!  Or the hall or master bedroom!  As I rounded the corner into the bathroom, I held my breath and hoped against all hope that I would see something that would make me a very happy woman.

And there it was!!¬† My brand new shower finally has a glassed-in enclosure.¬† As I looked inside the shower and saw a razor-blade (the flat kind, like what you’d use to get stuff off of glass), a drill-bit and a step stool, I almost opened the door to clear it all out so I could enjoy my first shower.¬† But then I noticed the note on the door:¬† do not open until 9/10.

So, it looks like it’ll be another 2 days before I can fully test out my bathroom.¬† I suppose it’s just as well; I do need to get some new towels.¬† The old ones just won’t do.

A few weeks back, I picked up some stripping gloves.  At home depot.  A lovely orange pair, one size fits all.

I finally got around to trying them out today, in the backyard.¬† With all my basement painting, I decided I didn’t want to continue the trend of painting the breaker box cover the same as the walls.¬† Because, well, flat paint isn’t the best thing to use for something that people put their hands on.¬† And also, there were several chips in the paint, making the overall effect look haphazard and lazy.

And so I removed all that paint, with a little help from some pretty serious paint stripper.  And my stripping gloves.  (That just never gets old!)  And an old paint brush.  And a kitchen scrubby.  And some rags.

Once all the layers of paint were gone, I sprayed the cover with some metal-colored enamel spray paint.¬† Because I don’t mind if metal looks like metal.¬†¬†

So yeah, I spent my afternoon strippin’ in the backyard.¬† And the husband is in vegas and¬†missed¬†the whole thing …¬†

We’re¬†coming up on the 3-year house anniversary.¬† And it’s been 3 years of drying my hair in the hallway.¬† Because the bathroom outlets don’t work.

They managed to pass inspection just fine Рbut somewhere between the inspection and my first attempt at drying my hair, they stopped working.  Granted, I blow dry my hair about once every 2 months, so who knows how long it was after we moved in that I discovered it.  Who knows what may have happened.  Malicious sellers?  Careless cable or direct tv installers?  Or maybe my 1875-watt monster of a hair dry made the wires asplode.

So as part of the bathroom remodel, we negotiated in that they would fix the outlet and put in a GFI.  Because it had no such protections.

The electrician is here now, and informed me that the … wire? … is only for 15 amps, not 20 amps as is standard these days for bathrooms.¬†¬†

He has discovered that our GFI is in the basement utility room.¬† When it is not tripped, the utility room, porch outlet,¬†and two bathrooms work.¬† The backyard outlet (never even knew we had one …) and the upstairs bathrooms never work ….

The electrician is going to steal power from the upstairs hall, feed it to the guest bath, and use that to power the master bath.¬† (With GFI protections, of course.)¬† He can’t upgrade the wire without tearing up all the walls through the entire house, so I’ll be stuck with a wimpy 15 amps.¬† That probably won’t power my one-true-love of a hair dryer.¬† But – at least the husband will be able to shave in the bathroom …

So they’ve finished tiling the shower, and it is AWESOME!¬† We have an 8’x10′ bathroom.¬† And now a 5’x5′ shower.

I imagine it’ll take some time to warm up the nice big shower in the cold winter months.¬† I think that’s when I’ll start making the husband get up first in the morning …

Alas, tis the last day of my vacation.¬† It’s a good thing, too, because I am EXHAUSTED.¬† Between walking all over DC and Baltimore, and painting my basement (NOT as easy as it sounds), my body is sore and quite ready for a nice, relaxing desk job.

Got up early today to attend the baptism (and worship services) of one of the neighbors.¬† We sat right up front, so the husband got the honors of video taping the little guy’s baptism.¬† At just 6 months old, he was rather composed and calm for the proceedings.¬† (The baby, not the husband.¬† Though the husband was also quite composed and calm.)

Put together my Sunday school lesson (complete with a match game!), then headed off for another 3 hours of church.¬† And only 2 of my kids showed up, so all my efforts couldn’t be fully appreciated.¬† Should have gone with hangman, no preparation needed there …

Decided the trim doesn’t need a second coat and put the basement back together, as much as it can be.¬† Need to buy some bookcases, vertical blinds for the sliding door, a skinnier printer cart, and a couple of comfy fireplace chairs.¬† After I, um, start getting paid again.

All in all, it’s been a great 17 days – even if my delicate programmer hands are now calloused and scratched up.¬† A few days at the new job should fix that right up.

Up early to go see the new batman flick!¬† The theater was surprisingly full at 9:30 in the morning.¬† And they do make popcorn¬†and pizza at that hour.¬† Most people had the good sense to leave their under-12-ers home, but there were a few young ones in the crowd.¬† A man in front of us brought his 8 and 10 year old boys – and I have a feeling his wife may be less than pleased when she’s dealing with nightmares for the rest of the week.

But, back to the movie:  it is nothing short of awesome.  And a half.  While Iron Man is my favorite movie of the summer, The Dark Knight is probably the best movie I have seen this summer.  And I have seen A LOT of movies. 

Heath Ledger is brilliantly demented.¬† The story is full of unexpectedly sick turns, that by movie’s end, had me starting to descend into the crazy, anarchic world that the Joker lived in.¬† And it’s not a nice place.¬†¬†There were a few cringe-inducing moments that had me not wanting to look at the screen, but I have a weak¬†stomach¬†when it comes that¬†sort of thing.

So go see it!  But leave the kids at home.

Did some more painting – surprise, surprise.¬†¬†I think I’ll be able to finish up next weekend …

I am¬†currently enjoying a bowl of apple slices, strawberries and frozen grapes.¬† And¬†a¬†bowl of cool whip.¬† And a bowl of caramel.¬† I love¬†fruit, it’s the perfect thing for dipping in sugar!

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