Archive: Apr 2007

Shower Curtain

Unfortunately the window in our bathroom was placed in such a way that it has made it somewhat hard to place a shower into the bathtub because half the window would be in the shower. To prevent too much water from splashing onto the wooden window molding Patrick and I thought it would be a good idea to buy one of those curved shower rods in hopes of blocking some of the wood with the shower curtain. Even though the rod has been sitting in our closet for months we have now been able to hang it up because we wanted to paint the walls before putting up this permanent fixture. Up until now we have used our cheap plastic rod that is expandable. We’ve had it dangling on top of the tiles and the window crown molding so it wouldn’t damage the drywall and paint from fastening it onto the wall, and every time we hung our towels up (since we don’t have towel racks yet!) the rod was threatening to collapse on us. We finally put up our pretty curved (“for extra elbow room”) shower rod yesterday!

Ohhhhh, fancy! Look at that!

Shower curtain rod

Finally a shower rod that won’t fall on us. We also had to buy an extra long shower curtain liner because we’ve had to place the shower rod higher than the average shower curtain height due to the window being half-way in the shower. Not a problem with a 10-foot ceiling.

Shower curtain rod

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Past Two Weeks

We finished putting up all the blinds in the guest bedroom! So our guest can actually have some privacy…

Guest bedroom blinds

…well, except for the glass door to the living room…

Guest bedroom door

…which we finally hung back up! Not finished like we hoped – one step at a time, I guess.

And cleaning it up a little for our guests that will soon be here.

Guest bedroom door

The 60-Day Curse?

We heard a sudden noise. It turns out the noise was the range hood vent falling down!! The screws were ripped right out from the cabinet on the left side.

Hood vent

Because we were afraid the right side would not hold much longer we found a temporary solution to prop up the vent hood until the contractors were able to come by the next day.

Hood vent

And then we also noticed the base cap molding coming off by the butler’s pantry. What is this? The 60-day curse?

Base cap molding

After a crazy/busy weekend we decided to tackle some more paint scraping and got busy with a butler’s pantry drawer and door today.

Paint stripping

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US Postal Service Horror Stories

Of course there are always problems that come with moving. You have to get all your utilities set up, change your address with all your credit cards, banks, magazine subscriptions, etc…and you have to inform, the US Postal Service of your change of address as well.

When we were getting close to move into the house I went on the website to try and change our address. I entered all the info, etc…and then it said it would cost $1 to verify the address. Well, being the cheap ass that I am I was like “well whatever, I’ll just go to the post office and fill out a change of address form – it won’t cost anything that way.” That must have been 2 or 3 weeks before moving. On moving day, January 30th, we finally picked up a change of address form and personally handed it to the lady at the post office (one for personal, one for business). After about a week of no forwarded mail and no mail going to our old address either, we decided to call the post office. We were told our change of address wasn’t showing up in the computer yet, but to wait until the two-week mark to call again if nothing was showing up. The two-week period came and went, and there still was no forwarded mail. We probably wouldn’t have been that concerned had it not been for the fact that we knew two clients had sent checks to our old address during that time period. So we were on the phone a few more times, and of course we were always told we were not in the system. They checked out box at the post office – nothing. Strangely there was still never any mail going to our old address (we checked with our landlord several times). It was on February 14th that Patrick went back to to change our address after a postal worker had informed us that the online system was hooked straight into the computers and would immediately change the address! Had I known that I probably wouldn’t have been such a cheap ass with that $1. Sure enough, when we called a few days later our address change magically showed up as having changed on February 14th. We received our first few letters on March 1st – a month after our original change of address was handed to a postal worker in person! To our dismay still no checks from clients though.

The whole thing was just completely and utterly frustrating. We were on the phone a good 10 times with no resolution with a different story/answer from every employee you spoke with. Of course the new employee always said the previous employee was incorrect too – typical government type running in circles with no solution. We just didn’t get it. How could the mail mysteriously stop coming to our old address when they kept telling us there was NO record of our change of address in the computer!! It just makes NO sense. And no mail being forwarded to the new address even though we knew people had sent stuff there. We had given up all hope on the missing mail ever arriving. All the mail after February 14th was being forwarded…just the mail between January 30th and February 14th was missing.

Today, April 9th, I went to check the mailbox. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a forwarded letter from one of our clients! Stamped 68 days previously with a forwarding date of April 6th!! The letter looked in almost pristine condition, especially considering it had been AWOL for 68 days! Where it spent those 68 days will forever remain a mystery. You gotta love the postal service!

P.S. If/when we move again I will make sure to file a change of address on a month ahead of time!!

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The Neighborhood and New Neighbors

The Westview neighborhood has been through a rough patch…but I truly believe that it is experiencing a renaissance. Patrick and I have noticed simply in the two months we’ve lived here/six month’s we’ve owned the house. A lot of houses remain on the market, but there’s change nonetheless. We’ll drive through the streets every so often to see what has changed, and there are still tons of houses for sale. This is such a beautiful neighborhood – it makes my heart cry ever time I drive by one of these 90-year old bungalows that has been so neglected. This neighborhood is such a gem, it just needs the right bungalow lovers to move in and provide the love and care that these historic houses need. Unfortunately the area has been ravaged by mortgage fraud and is leaving many houses empty. Our street has approximately 30 houses on it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 10 of them are empty. Or at least were. Diagonally across the street from us people moved in about a month ago. Then they started renovating the house next to them (and still are). Hopefully that means someone will move in soon. The last thing we need is more mortgage fraud. Then further up the street they’re doing extensive renovations to a house as well. And just a couple of days ago we’ve had neighbors move in next door to us!

The house has been empty for as long as we know. On one hand it’s been depressing having an empty house next to us, on the other hand we’ve enjoyed the privacy it provided. A contractor started some work on it about a month and a half ago, telling us a widow and 6 (!) kids were to start renting March 1st (a little to our shock). March 1st came and went and no one moved in. The contractor informed us that they were having problems getting the power hooked back up. He told us some crazy story about the previous homeowner owing some $3,500.00 electric bill and the electric company came out and cut off the wires to the house. Supposedly they need to pay the bill before the power will get hooked back up. Why a new homeowner would have to pay a previous homeowners electric bill I don’t know, but then again I didn’t talk to the power people. In any case, the power was supposed to be turned on any day – and that was the response we received for the next month and a half. So a few days ago the neighbors moved in (to our joy a husband, wife, 88-year old g’pa and 22-year old son – not a widow with 6 kids!)…no power, no gas, no water. It’s been 4 days now, and we’ve helped them out by letting them plug an extension cord into an outlet on our porch, and by letting them fill big buckets of water from our garden faucet. I know what trouble we had getting some things hooked up here and there and how we were sweating things on moving day (like the gas), but I can at least say we had everything hooked up by the end of the night! I hope they get things sorted out soon. I’m not even quite sure how the landlord can legally let them live there under these conditions.

So it’s good to see all this action on simply our street. Interestingly enough an acquaintance recently told us his friend has been looking at buying a house in our neighborhood. Apparently he has made offers on several houses and has been out-bid each time. In a couple of instances he even offered more than the asking price. I hope he will eventually get a deal somewhere because I think it’s the kind of people we need in the neighborhood…young, ambitious individuals.

And last but not least they have also been working on some of the spaces in the little village center at the end of our street. That was very refreshing because it is such a cool, old looking building that needed a face lift. No one seems to be moving in yet, but at least they renovated it to a point where it’s not just a pathetic looking building anymore. I would absolutely love a cool little eatery to go in there, because that’s one thing we’re missing around here – places to eat.

So here’s to more improvements in our cute little gem of a neighborhood – may it continue to prosper and become the treasure that I know it is!

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Updates All Around

We’ve had some house action again over the last few days. The contractors came back to fix some of the outstanding things, like the bathroom door and window received the missing cap molding.

They finally removed the pipe from our bedroom.

Molding was applied around the door in the laundry – still have to finish painting that part of the laundry room too. As you can see we’ve put up a quick curtain solution for some extra privacy on the door, and what you can’t see is that we also installed weather stripping on the bottom of the door to prevent water leaking in.

In addition our bathroom sink started leaking about 3 weeks ago and was finally fixed (we had an AWOL contractor for 4 weeks). What can I say – what a surprise that another plumbing-related item was not working!! After a month of using it at that. I think we better ask for an extended warranty on the plumbing work!

Then we had some more gardening fun…

Who said anything about child labor laws? Just kidding! Our niece came to spend the night and we decided to play in the dirt for a little bit. We started removing some grass so we can get a small vegetable garden started.

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