Sunday, July 19, 2009


Nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm isolated, but the level of disorder is certainly on the rise here. I have moved; the only things not here yet are my bike and its gear, and my instruments. They're safer where they are for a little while more, partly because of the chaos and daily rearranging, and partly because it's very damp here. The horn would be OK; the dulcimers and the guitar would not be so happy.

In the grand scheme of things, it's been a great move. I have amazing, generous, very hard-working friends who have leapt to my assistance several times during this saga, and this past weekend was no exception. My niece was here yesterday and got her workout in for the day, schlepping boxes up and down the stairs as we did the Fed Ex thing. You may remember that I had to bug out of my last apartment on rather short notice, so my usual organized packing and marking of boxes kind of went to hell. There was a fair amount of "put it in the office" yesterday, so she and I pretty much got things at least into the rooms where they belonged.

The first wave of the kitchen has been unpacked. I have A LOT of kitchen stuff. My new kitchen has some decent workspace, but not an awful lot of cabinet space. I have a mudroom, though, and as in my last house-based kitchen, that's where most of the not-oft-used things will go. That'll involve the purchase another set of those Swedish pine shelves that I love (from Williams-Sonoma), because the current set usually holds the yarn stash. (THAT room is a mighty disaster. Never fear, I still have several projects easily available.) I have all of my appliances, though currently only the fridge and washing machine are functional. Another wonderful friend will be pulling the gas lines from the basement to my stove and dryer next week. (I've been without a stove for two more days will be a breeze.) The dishwasher gets hooked up tomorrow by the wonderful carpenter I have set to speed-dial. He also replaced the nasty awful cheap storm door last night. I've painted the front and back doors red. (I had to do something Friday while waiting for the various installation people to arrive.)

My bedroom is in pretty fine disarray as well. I may try to tame it a little this evening...I may not. The bed is set up with my lovely soft sheets, so really...I can live out the suitcases for another night. We'll see.

There is a need for another bookcase or two; my last apartment had a wall partially dedicated to built-in shelving that made my library look deceptively small. (And I've culled the collection quite a bit since leaving my house two years ago.) There's plenty of painting to do, as I choose colors. I hung all but three roller blinds on the windows today too. I managed to score them at JCPenney for 50% off way back in...umm...March, I think it was. Somehow I'm short three sets of hardware, but that made for a good stopping point.

In amongst all of this wonderfulness is a problem, though if this is the extent of my woes, I'm a damn lucky gal. I may have mentioned that the seller of my house...well, he either is a cheapskate, or he got fleeced by the folks who worked for him. I am grateful beyond words to have new siding, new windows, a new water heater, and a new furnace. The kitchen cabinets are new; not great quality, but certainly fine. New carpet and laminate. There's PLENTY that is good around here. However...the things that need to be fixed are pretty important and I'm surprised at how shoddily they were done in the first place.

I live on a hill, which may lead you to believe makes me pretty safe from water problems. But water runs downhill, and we also have a lot of small natural springs running not far underground. Therefore, in many neighborhoods, wet basements are a given and mine is no exception. I probably will never store anything there; the furnace and hot water tank are up on blocks and my laundry is on the first floor. Like everyone else, I have a sump hole in the front corner. I think someone's Uncle Bubba installed it. It works, mostly, but it is The Weirdest set-up ever. As a matter of fact, that it works at all is pretty impressive. The basement floor is trenched to allow the water to run to the pump, yet there's a lip of the floor just before the hole...effectively creating a little dam so the water has to get kind of deep (relatively can't go fishing in there) before it can run off. Luckily, a fairly easy fix. I also need a dehumidifier that actually works instead of merely sounding like it does.

Here's the part where I nearly had a heart attack last night, though. The house passed inspection easily, but has been empty for a long time. The seller never lived here, which is why I think no one caught what I'm about to describe.

After a day of folks trooping in and out and you know, USING the bathroom upstairs, my niece got ready for bed and took her turn. I happened to walk into the "office," which is below that bath, and noticed a distinct dripping sound...coming from the ceiling. I knew there was a little leak somewhere, as Fred My Plumber and I noticed it in the basement. This new development, however, was more than "little." So we shut off the valve, used the powder room loo instead, and the dripping stopped. This morning, in the name of science, she took a shower. Same damn thing. Someone did a very poor job with the drain lines up there, and I'm pretty sure the way to fix it is to go through the ceiling. (Which is stained now anyway, so no loss.) I'll be showering at Mom's for a couple days.

I'm glad we caught it early; since there's been so little use, I'm hoping the damage is contained. Also, now I know that this won't be a problem any more. I know that it'll be fixed properly. I'd rather spend the money on light fixtures that aren't the cheapest ones at Home Despot, of course, but even I know how important this is, and I want it done well.

There's a couple of other not-cosmetic things to do; being an old house, there's not enough electrical outlets where you'd actually want them. The gutters need cleaning. (Easy.) The yard, such as it is, is mostly weeds. Maybe that's cosmetic...we'll see what my other friend the landscaper says. I can live with that for a summer.

This may be my longest post ever, but I think it has the least amount of whining in a loooooooong time. Stay's only going to get better from here.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

I have seen not a few houses where drains were just not connected. In fact, I have a feeling there is one in our house. We don't let showers happen in the main bath. One of these days we will have to open the wall.
My parent's a/c unit drain was cemented over by someone. New condo. You have to wonder.