Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014 - Conversations of Mice and Well Mice

Yes, I've been reduced to having conversations about mice.  Certainly there are worse things I could be reduced to discussing but since I seem to be on a killing spree this seems appropriate.  Does that nursery rhyme start "Three Dead Mice, see how they run..."

Not very far. 

Today I peeked into the utility room and yes there is an abundance of death.  Which makes me wonder how this happened and having the imagination I do this is what I pictured.

Mouse 1: Hey Joey, it's your turn to get the take out.  Go on, go, but make it snappy.  No pun intended

Mouse 2: Yah ok, I'm going
Twenty minutes later:

Mouse 1 to Mouse 3:  What the heck is taking Joey so long.  I betcha he's eating all the takeout without us.  *sigh*  I'll go check on him.  Gimme a couple minutes.

Mouse 1 peaks into the utility room.  "Awww man, Joey I was only kidding with the snappy remark, you went and got yourself killed. Now what.... ooohhh what's that.... peanut butter,  mmmm <SNAP>

Mouse 3:  Jeez those guys are always having fun without me.  Sneaks into the utility room.  Da da da da... ohhhh they don't look so... hey is that peanut butter I smell?  <SNAP>

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23, 2014 - Update

I admit it has been a long while since I posted anything at all on this site.  Even after making a pledge to try and do better.  Well you know how things are life gets in the way and it's hard to carve out time to sit down and jot what's going on in this weird mind of mine.  So where to start:

The new house

We've finished the window project.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the house project.  We bought a house near the water and shortly after moving in discovered that we needed to replace 28 windows because when it rained they would leak into the walls.  Not a happy thing.  So I spent the summer with a lovely contractor and his helper overseeing the replacement of the windows.  Here's a sample of what that looked like.

I learned a great deal through this process, that and I dusted off my less than stellar painting skills because, of course, the window replacement resulted in the clapboard around those areas to be replaced.  Hence once the windows were replaced the painting had to begin.  On that note the painter and I agreed to use me as a feeble apprentice, so I painted the lower sections of the exterior and he did most of the upper, shall we saw scary 2nd floor level.
Now all I have left (of the window project) is to finish painting the interior trim in the office and guest bedrooms so I can put up the blinds.  I'm crossing my fingers that I have that completed by next week.

BTW that is Steve the contractor, doing an excellent job

Other things

I took a photography course this summer.  It was a way to get a better handle of the workings of my camera.  I've decided that I am going to start playing more, and then if I get really addicted I'll consider a different camera, but for now this one is great.  That and I need to really get a handle on Photoshop.  There are things in my head that I want to get out on film if at all possible.


Not the computer kind, although I would certainly prefer that to the kind that I am currently catching.  If they could only read the sign that I have posted on the door to the utility room.  "Within Lies Death, Enter At Your Own Risk."  Maybe it's too subtle and I need to just put up a poster of one of their mouse brethren caught in the nasty mouse trap.  It's not like I enjoy killing them.  In fact I don't like it at all and I especially don't enjoy having to "re-bait" the traps afterward.  *shudder*  However, what I like even less is having mice loose in the house.  Seriously go to Florida and visit your god Mickey.  Don't try and camp here for the winter.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 22, 2014 – Mop & Glo

I think I’m starting to creep over the line of eccentric to crazy.  I just mopped the kitchen and living room floors which has highlighted that I’ve been thinking a lot about shoes.  I’m rambling, today I want to take my shoes off before coming into the house but lord knows what those dogs have traipsed through, I should be putting shoes on their feet when they come inside.  Especially since the floors are clean today.  Ohhh and here’s crazy, I said I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but it has really been rolling around in my head since this weekend.  L and I did a road trip to Maryland to see her grand-nephew Finn, who is cute, and we stopped at a rest stop.  Ok so, yes I had to stop and yes, shocking I went to the ladies room.  Since then I’ve wanted to leave my shoes at the door.  Better yet maybe I should have burned them.  Would it be really weird to carry those surgical booties around and put them on your shoes before walking into a restroom?  Oye, but then how the heck would you get the booties off.  Who’s going to want to touch them?  At least which shoes I can step on the heel and push them off.  Shoes, I’ll stick with shoes.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014 – Windows Windows Everywhere

I’m considering another change in career, construction apprentice.  Thus far it looks like we have 22 replacement windows that need to be replaced.  I’m wondering if whomever we hire will take me in as an apprentice so I can learn all things windows.  Heck if I was younger I’d like to brush up my roofing skills but I’m not too keen on the height thing.  In my teen years I don’t think twice about being the roof,  it was just cool and what could possibly go wrong? Ah the bliss of ignorance.

Onward and upward, I met with another window installer today.  Honestly this meeting was just to get some concept of pricing but I don’t think they are equipped to do all the aspects that we will need.  Now that doesn’t prevent the meeting from being somewhat amusing.  The sales guy asked me what I wanted the windows to do. “Do?”  I actually asked him to clarify that question because what could he possibly be asking me, it had to be a trick question.  Oh no, it’s not a trick, what features do I want in my windows.  Hmmm, I would like them to let the cool air in, when intended, and to keep the elements (rain, snow, hail, locusts) out when they are closed.  This is not rocket science.  They he asked how long I would like the windows to last.  Really?  So I responded until I die plus 1 day.  Then he asked me if I wanted to windows to increase the value of the home.  I explained I didn’t want the windows to DECREASE the value of the home and that if I end up in a nursing home may be tempted to take them with me.  Oh and the final question, when would we be looking to have these windows replaced.  Now this question is not unreasonable, I understand the scheduling thing but I can’t seem to impress upon these guys the fact that we want this done… now… now… before hurricane season…. before we have a ton of rain storms that potentially cause more damage, before we have a bunch of rain storms and I’m a nervous wreck worrying about water leaking through light fixtures, before my night terror spiders are replaced by giant windows chasing me.  Speaking of, surprisingly there have been no night terrors as a result of all of this.  At least that I am aware of, I take that as a good sign that I really am not overly stressed by all of this.  I’m just on task of getting it resolved.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014 – Well Hello Little Lady a.k.a. New Home Saga

If this were a car that we bought it would be a slightly used one.  Well ok maybe that is an under-exaggeration.  Let’s just say used, but a lovely home with a fantastic view.  Alas, as with many things, despite our best efforts to make informed decisions things happen and you discover that there are unanticipated costs.  Which is the nice way of saying we have some things that need to be fixed which caught us unawares.
Last week there was that lovely rainstorm that dropped 6+ inches of rain in the area.  I can attest with a fairly high degree of confidence that there was at least that much rain, because I capture 4 inches of it in a bucket that was strategically placed below a light fixture which was doubling as a fountain for the evening. Maybe I should step back a bit. I was home when it started raining and I heard this “tink, tink, tink” coming from the kitchen.  To my dismay it was not the chocolate fairy asking for shelter from the storm.  No it was water coming out of a light in the 1st floor kitchen.  Needless to say I did what any rational human being would do; I panicked and called my Dad.  Once he assured me that if the light switch was off it would not cause a fire I was able stop freaking out.  Then I pulled the canister out of the ceiling so that the water could drip unhindered.  Hey my logic was, better it come out of the hole versus traveling across the ceiling causing more damage.  Then I called a roofer, promised him my 1st born dog, who came by and took a look.  His 1st guess was that it was the overhang near that window causing the issue but did some investigation in the room above the kitchen to make sure there wasn’t water coming in from that floor as well.  However, he needed to come back after it stopped raining to take a better look.

Turns out we do have a minor-ish roof issue which we need to repair but unfortunately we also have a wood and window(s) issue.  Which brings me to the, “Well Hello Little Lady’ part of my title.  So far, I’ve had a couple of General Contractors come in to take a look around and try to determine what the issues are and the best way for fixing that problem.  Monday’s contractor is proposing an expensive solution that I think will fix the problem although it will be somewhat painful as an unanticipated expense.  He was polite, professional, and spoke to me as if I was not an idiot.  You go dude! 

Today’s contractor was polite but he’s proposing a solution that would mimic the problem, which is pretty much that the replacement windows that were installed by the previous owners (or someone paid by them) were not really installed in the best way for the area (high winds, rain, and coastal conditions).   He would cut away the obvious wood rot, replace a few pieces of wood and caulk the crap out of them.  Now I’m not saying that wouldn’t work, but when I expressed concerns that we might end up in the same boat we are now in just a few years the guy said:  “Well you do realize this is a wooden house and there will always be maintenance on it.”  He refrained from verbally adding “Little Lady” onto that sentence but I heard it loud and clear and only had a passing moment where I wanted to pop him one.  I did point out that I was aware of the concept of maintenance and that I was all for preventative maintenance.  Just like I periodically have the oil changed in the car, so that, I don’t know the engine doesn’t seize up randomly one day forcing me to be rescued on the side of the road by John Wayne.  Somehow however, what’s going on with the house right now doesn’t qualify as maintenance to me, it qualifies as repair work.  Big freaking expensive repair work because someone else didn’t do MAINTENANCE. 

There is one more contractor coming this afternoon and I just can’t decide if I should put on my frilly lace dress grab my parasol and hope I’m not overcome with the vapors.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014 - Packing

I’ve started the process of packing our stuff up for the big move, it’s only just begun and I’m starting to think “Moving to Zurich was easier.”  Ok not really but OMG the movers in that deal packed everything, because they “had” to.  The amazing thing in that process was they literally packed "everything" in one day.  I know these guys are professionals and do this every day, but as I start this process I realized I could not have that job, because I'm too slow.

To keep from getting overwhelmed I'm trying to do this strategically, packing some easy things (books) in between some difficult things (kitchen stuff).  The easy things make me feel like I accomplished something.  Oh and I did discover a simple way to avoid packing something… drop it on the ceramic tile and have it shatter… although I would not really recommend that as an ongoing solution.

Anyway, my goal is to pack up several boxes every day and hopefully it won’t get overwhelming and to the point where I want to just throw stuff out willy nilly.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014 - Reaffirming My Handiness

Sometimes I forget that I can be handy when necessary.  This home purchase thing is re-affirming that I can and am kind of handy.  Now that doesn't mean that I'll be laying tile or refinishing any hardwood floors in the future, but hey I weld a mean putty knife and a wicked caulk gun.

In other news I've informed my twin that since our birthday is this month that we are celebrating the entire month.  Since we will be 49 and I've determined that 2014 will be the year of fun and adventure what better way to have fun than to celebrate the entire month?  So today I had a massage.  Tomorrow if things go according to plan I will have incredible amounts of fun shoveling the driveway of snow.  Ok that wasn't really part of the plan but since we are born in February and Mother Nature is not cooperating I'm going to convince myself.  Hmmmm.... maybe there is a snow angel in my future.

House update, we are still on track for closing at the end of March.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28, 2014 - House Update

Monday was the home inspection.  In fact I managed to get all of the necessary inspections scheduled on the same day.  Of course they always find things but in general nothing insurmountable.  Oh but here's the really big thing and I deserve an attagirl.

The house has a dirt crawl space.  If you don't know what that means - its a space under the house that is 2 feet high and pretty much can't be used for anything unless you collect spiders.  Then it might be a lovely home for them.  Fortunately, the guy who owns this house has done things like applying vapor barriers and whatnot to reduce the risk of mold (and to make it slightly less icky).  Needless to say this was definitely a part of the inspection and I sucked it up and went in with the mold inspector to get a lesson on crawl spaces.  Surprisingly it wasn't too bad.  If this was a scary movie right about now the "dunt dunt... dunt dunt... dunt dunt" music would start to play.  Later that morning the home inspector, who was a different guy than the mold inspector, also went into the crawl space, except that he found an additional section that neither the mold guy or I found.  THAT section is way in the corner of the house and unfortunately there are a couple of fixes that must be made before we close.  Now the seller, he agreed to make the fix without batting an eye.  Herein lies the problem, he'll make the fix and before the closing there is a walk thru to make sure that everything is acceptable... which means I will have to crawl into the damnable crawl space and crawl to the far back corner to verify that he made the fixes.  Oye

Oh you can bet I'll be brave and I'll do it, but I'm going to want a drink afterward.  A drink and a shower, not necessarily in that order.

Otherwise, I'm starting to get excited about the house.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014 - Brittle

I'm craving something.  I'm not entirely sure what that something is, but it's definitely in the sweet family and it's too cold for Ben & Jerry's ice cream.  Ok it's not really, what it is, is too cold to hop in the car and drive to the store for Ben & Jerry's ice cream.  Instead, I've finally tried my hand at making Brittle.  Most of the recipes are for peanut brittle but I swapped out the peanuts for Almonds.  I followed the recipe and I "think" that it came out ok, but I have to admit that when I poured it out of the pan... it poured out of the pan and I don't think it was supposed to do that.  Recipes need to be more explicit, they need to say "You will need to pry the brittle out of the sauce pan" or "It's going to pour out of the pan like the hot molten sugar that it is."

Oh and anyone whose made brittle before... when it's cooking... is it supposed to bubble?  Oh and no, I did not use a candy thermometer.  I tried but it just wouldn't play nice.  Seriously, I just need a basic candy thermometer, one that doesn't need a battery because it would appear that I can't make the battery one's work.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014 Monday Randomness

I took the girlie and the beastly boy for a walk this morning and I noticed a house that has a porta-let in their yard.  Since we are now in full blown house mode I wondered…. Do those people count that as a ½ bath?  Yeah we have a full bath upstairs and a ½ bath outside next to the garage. 

Speaking of the girlie, she is brutal about getting up on the kitchen counters and retrieving anything that can be construed as food or just shredded.  It’s been a nuisance because I don’t catch her in the act.  So the other day after she stole a muffin and swallowed it whole… including the muffin liner, I bought a “scat mat”.  It arrived last Wednesday so I immediately set about trying to entice/entrap her.  I opened a jar of peanut butter and put it on the counter, behind the scat mat.  She’s sticking her tongue out licking her lips.  She can smell that peanut butter, you can see she WANTS that peanut butter.  I’m thinking, I’ve got her now she’s going to try and take that off the counter and ZAP she’ll learn. 
Did she go up on the counter?  No.  She sat in front of the counter crying.  Oh and then a little later she went back to the counter skipped the space where the peanut butter was and grabbed L’s baseball cap.  Sneaky sneaky girlie.

It was also a banner day.  I scheduled the Appraisal, Home Inspection, and the Septic System Inspection all for the same day next week.  The remaining one is for mold but I am waiting for some additional information.  Oh and I straightened up my office, mostly.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014 - House Hunting

Well I should probably apologize for being absent for so long but then again there is a strong possibility that ya'll have given up on the hope of any updates.  Well lookie here.. an update, which is hopefully the 1st of an ongoing process.  I resolved to have more adventures this year and to actually take the time to write about them.  To do that I have to get over the concept that I'm no longer 6 hours ahead of you which means I've given myself permission to write/post at night.  It works for me.

So onto our titled post.  A couple of months ago, L came home and asked me what I was doing on Saturday.  I said "Nothing" and she proceeded to ask if I wanted to go look at a house.  Hey why not? Looking at houses can be fun.

So one thing led to another, we found a house that we really like, the location is good, there is a water view (for L), it's not on top of its neighbors (for me), and there is a yard/space for the dogs (Ok, also for me....well and the dogs).

Next steps:
  Home Inspection
  Mold Inspection
  Septic System Inspection

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.