Thursday, September 16, 2010

Daily ponderings....

Do you remember the movie "The Money Pit"? For those of you that don't, feel free to go to and read about it... it is about a couple buying their "dream home" and the comedic pitfalls of restoring it. Now in the real world, I would expect to find more problems as I dismantle and reassemble a house, but I am not doing that. I am simply living in this house from day to day. I have lived in this house for 2.5 years and I can assure you that not one of those days has gone by that I didn't worry about something else that is going to break, fall off, and/or quit working. Let me begin at the beginning, 2.5 years ago, April 2007.

I had never bought a house, by myself and really, nothing big I ever did in my life, came off smooth as glass and without a hitch. I should have known, right off the bat, that when this did, I was in for trouble. Finding the house was fast. The purchase was fast AND smooth. I got a great interest rate and payments that I could easily afford. The finance company sent out an inspector and everything checked out, not one problem. I should have known...

I closed on the house in April of 2007 and a week later I was moving in... and that is where everything started going wrong! Now the boyfriend is all in helping me move and I have had a head start packing.

We are moving in the very first load and as I go to unlock the door, we can't?  Why not? It worked fine the day before? Hmmm.... go around to the back of the house and go in the back door, only to find out the tumblers have locked up on the front door lock, now what? Damn! Ok, get the door open and at least get the truck unloaded, then one of us is off to Wally World for new locks... done. Whew, what an adventure. Since we didn't get the beds moved and the set up, I stay at the apartment, one more night..

We spend the next day, ALL DAY, moving, EVERYTHING...Lowes delivers and sets up my brand new refrigerator, whew hew.... Exhausted but happy, I fall into my bed, in my new house, and I am out like a light. I am expecting the best night of sleep in a very long time. No one walking on my ceiling.. No strange car door noises. I have no idea what time was, when I am woke up by the most horrible, banging and clanging AND it is inside the house!  I jump up and hit the light only to discover that the ceiling fan/light is swinging wildly around the room and about to take flight. I kill the fan at the wall and try to figure out what the hell caused this. Oh, did I mention that I have 17 foot ceilings throughout the house? Yeah... Ceiling fans on 5 foot down rods.. NICE....

Ok, I don't have a ladder that will reach that high yet, but what the hell, right? Life is just one big adventure and this is but another curve in the road. We get up the next morning and discover that the brand new refrigerator is not cool. Hmmm... Ok, so this ISN'T a problem with the house per se, BUT..... Now in Lowes defense, they were Johnny on the spot and came out within hours with another brand new fridge and we were good to go. All better and I am starting to relax....of course that was until I priced 12 foot ladders! Have you seen the prices of those things? Man they are proud of them. Well that is just gonna have to wait.

Things rocked along for a couple of weeks and I was really just beginning to think that we had passed the worst... ahhh but I was wrong.. Mother Nature hadn't had her turn at me yet. It was nearly a month after I moved in we had some huge storms roll through. No tornadoes, but 60+ mph winds are bad enough. Of course the hail was HUGE and did I mention my house has a skylight in the bathroom? Yep, who ever thought of skylights in Texas should be shot. Yep, two holes and it was leaking like a sieve. Lucky me, at least the skylight is over the tub :-)... Of course that was all before I walked outside to go to work and discovered that half my fence was on the ground. Really? Could this day get any better? Wired up the fence, the boyfriend climbed on the roof and patched the skylight.. joy..

Of course when you buy your first house you have to buy all the trappings of home ownership... Lawn mowers, weed eaters, that sort of stuff. I prefer a light weight, electric weed eater. No biggie. Got a good one on sale for CHEAP. Saturday morning, I am out doing the new home owner thing... I mow and dutifully put away the mower and break out the weed eater and plug it in. Hmm... nothing. I make sure I have a good connection on both ends of the cord, yep we are good. Hmm... still nothing. I unplug and plug into the lower plug.. Nothing. I unplug and move to a totally different plug. STILL NOTHING... Ok, now I am irritated. I have to literally plug in, inside the garage and run the cord around one side of the house. I plug in, inside the garage (thank God for long extension cords) and GET NOTHING.... $(#&*&%*()#(*$!!!

I throw my hands up, put everything away, call the boyfriend, fuss and cuss, and then go take a shower. After the shower, I plug in the hair dryer. NOTHING!! Ok, now I am seeing RED... NOTHING WORKS.. Oh that's an exaggeration, all the other plugs in the house work.. all the ones farthest from what I NEED! I turn around and hit the light switch and realize it is REALLY warm... Now that worries me. Crap... I know plumbers. I know AC guys... I don't know an electrician to save my life. CRAP!

Long story short, I got all that taken care of. I should be happy. Things are finally starting to rock along and I decide I want laminate floors in the house. Not really something I had planned on but it appears the prior owner had cats. ALOT of cats, I eventually found out (via my ever so helpful neighbors). What they didn't tell me was that apparently she kept a bunch of them in the house. Not that cats in the house is a problem. I have two very old, very cranky, part human, cats. But it becomes a problem when your cranky cats decide they have to cover the odor of the other cats. ARGGHHH... nasty, nasty, nasty! Oh and don't believe everything you read. Odor eliminators and pet stain removers? Not so good on cat stains. I tried everything I could find. I read suggestion on the internet and not one thing worked. So my solution? Rip out the carpet and put down laminate. Not a bad idea since one room with the carpet problem was the dining room.. Who, in their right mind, puts carpet in a dining room? Really?

So out comes the carpet. The boyfriend and I spend one weekend ripping the carpet out of the dining room, the living room, and down the hall. UH OH... not a good idea... who would have thought that this was the original carpet from when the house was built, in 1984?? YUCK, EWW, NASTY, NASTY, NASTY!! I cannot get that carpet out fast enough. Good lord how many cats did she have??? Carpet is now curbside in the very hot Texas, early summer heat. Lord am I glad they came around and got that stuff within a day or two. Age, cat urine, and God knows what else, simmering in the Texas sun was starting to get ripe. I am thinking the trash guys don't get paid near enough for the stuff they have to deal with...

So the carpet is out and I spend a day or two just scrubbing the fool out of the floor. I put down some stuff that was recommended to deodorize the cement underneath and then seal it so there is no more smell. It worked!!! Hurrah! Something actually worked as advertised. Now all I have to do is get the flooring and I am set. So, off to Lowes I go, in search of the perfect color for the perfect price.. I found it!! Oh my goodness it is EXACTLY what I wanted, so I buy tons of it and head home. I am unloading it into the garage and neatly stacking it. Did I mention that those boxes of laminate are not only VERY heavy, but bulky too? Just an FYI... when you drop one on your toe? Either pray for steel toes or be prepared for one nasty and extremely painful bruise... and when it is your big toe? You feel it every step for weeks!

Oh and in case I forgot to tell you.. I am not the least bit savvy enough to install flooring myself.. Oh, not to say that I couldn't figure it out, but that's what boyfriends are for right?? Love you honey!

I am sure this has been some long reading so far, but since we haven't even gotten to the first year of ownership, I will leave the adventures of flooring for tomorrow... If I haven't bored you to tears so far, please drop back by tomorrow for more.

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