A work in progress

Those who know me personally know that I had a unrealistic expectation that the Mister and I would close on our new house, get all the painting and fixing up completely done, and then move our belongings inside and start living in an already-magazine-perfect home.

Yes, yes, I know. You’re laughing. I get it.

That is not what happened, obviously. Maybe if we’d both taken two weeks off work and did nothing but work on the house, but certainly not with 8-5 jobs and two puppies to take care of.

In reality, we closed on the house on a Monday, and I took the day off to paint and clean. Lots of work got done that day. Then nothing else got done all week long. We gave up the dream and moved in that Saturday.

The house is a work in progress, but progress is being made. The hallway is completely painted and has been for a few weeks now. We’ve bought a few small pieces of furniture and the Mister hung new blinds in the living room and kitchen last week. There’s even a welcome mat by the back door. It’s a slow progress, but it’s progress.

The biggest hurdle of the past few weeks has been the color of the living room walls. The Mister loves the chocolate brown and cranberry red that are already there, and I don’t dislike them, but I wanted to make the house OURS instead of just living in someone else’s home… so I’m painting.

I have agonized over the color choices for WEEKS! I’ve brought home dozens of paint cards and painstakingly eliminated one by one. I’ve bought quarts of test colors and painted swatches on the walls and scrutinized them from every angle in every type of light. I finally came to a decision a little more than a week ago. After painting almost one whole wall with my test quart, I ran back to Walmart for a few more gallons. They were out of the base type they needed to mix my paint, and they weren’t sure that a substitution would still work just right. So I waited.

Last week went by. The wall was half done and driving me crazy. So yesterday, Sunday, I went back to Walmart. They STILL didn’t have the base type I needed (our rural Walmart only restocks thing about once a quarter), but I agreed to try a substitution in the hopes that it would match.

I got home and painted a test patch. It was close! I thought it was the same! But it wasn’t. I continued painting, hoping it would somehow, magically be the same color when it dried. Or that maybe if I just kept painting I would cease to care.

As it turns out, after much pacing and muttering and frustration… I actually like the mistake color better than the color I chose. I hate to admit that, because I spent so much time choosing that color, but the mistake is slightly deeper and, believe it or not, is EXACTLY the color I had in my mind but couldn’t find on paper.

I bought two more quarts of the exact same “mistake” formula and redid the wall.

So it’s a work in progress. The living room looks TERRIBLE right now, with one wall needing a last coat, one wall with only the edges done and one wall with a big swatch right in the middle where I needed to use up the rest of the paint I’d already poured out. It’s horrendous. But when it’s done, it will be beautiful, and it will be exactly what I wanted.

So here’s to making a house a home, and here’s to a husband who lets me pick whatever colors I want without (too much) complaining. 🙂

Happy Monday,

The Missus

The Next Great Adventure

So, we moved this weekend.

That’s right. We moved. We weren’t planning on it really, we were just going to get a few boxes out of the way, but a friend with a truck came over and one thing led to another and bippity-boppity-boo I suddenly looked around and thought “Oh no! What have we done?”

So now I have two places that are a wreck – the house is full of boxes and random stacks of cleaning/painting supplies, and the apartment has miscellaneous objects scattered around that either weren’t boxed up or have not yet been needed at the new house. I can’t get the apartment cleaned because I’m trying to sort out the new house, and I can’t get the new house sorted because I’m trying to go back over and clean the apartment. So it’s been an interesting few days.

I have to admit, there were a few moments in the moving process when I felt gripped by a sudden panic and an intense desire to put everything back where we had it. I liked our apartment, all in all. Everything was (mostly) organized and had a place, and I liked it that way. But, as the Mister has reassured me several times, it was time for us to move on.

We had our first great homeowners adventure immediately after our moving-helpers left, when I went into the guest bathroom and heard the distinct sound of running water, which seemed to be coming from the wall next to the shower (which, yes, was turned off). There was no visible dripping or puddling or signs of water damage, but nothing we did would stop the noise. So, after much banging on and listening to of the walls, I made an appointment with a plumber.

The plumbers came yesterday and, at first, thought replacing a few parts in the toilet tank would fix the problem. But the noise persisted. After an hour and a half and about 10 trips into the crawl space, the man finally diagnosed “house gremlins.” (Actually, it’s a long and complicated story, but essentially the toilet bowl is leaking directly into another pipe, so we hear the water dripping but it’s not actually leaking OUT anywhere and causing puddles or mold. So we’re just going to learn to ignore the noise and move on.)

So that’s done, but now my brand-new washing machine is making a terrible noise and I’m probably going to have to call Lowes and have them come out and look at it.

*sigh* Why did we do this again?

But really, hiccups and panic attacks aside, I really do enjoy being in the new house. Our bedroom is bigger, our closet is bigger, and we don’t have the neighbor’s unruly children running up and down the stairs right outside our front door (although there is a very suspicious poodle close by). The dogs are starting to settle in, I think, with Lucy adapting much faster than Meera, who is still sort of on a food strike.

Maybe someday we’ll have more than just the few badly-painted walls that I started the day of our closing.

Happy Tuesday,

The Missus (of a new castle)


Dear Diary: Strange things are happening

Dear Diary,

This past month has been very odd for me. First, I tried to let one of the neighbor’s dogs know that she couldn’t have the stick I was chewing on (it was MINE! I found it first!), and she got very mad at me. It hurt. Mommy took me to see daddy at the place where he goes every day, and they fixed me up.

I’ve had to go to work with daddy a whole bunch of times since then. He makes me sit on this scary table that’s up high, and then he gives me a shot. I don’t mind shots so much, but I don’t like this one. It makes me feel all heavy and funny, and then I take a nap and when I wake up my tongue is GIGANTIC and I have funny floppy things hanging out of my shoulder.

I’ve had to take lots of medicine too. Mommy usually gives them to me, and I don’t like to eat them. But if I eat them, I get Cheerios, so sometimes that’s okay.

Mommy feels my shoulder every day to make sure it’s not squishy anymore. It got squishy one time, and I had to take more medicine and have more floppy tubes put in me, but she seems to think it’s better now. Maybe my hair will start to grow back in that spot now. I don’t like having a weird bald spot right in the front where everybody can see it.

Also, big news: I have a baby sister now! Mommy and Daddy say she is a Lucy. I’m not sure what a Lucy is, but if she is a Lucy, I guess she’s okay. I like her mostly, but she eats my food and gets into my little house and chews on my toys. And I’m not allowed to chew on her toys! It’s not fair! I just want to show her how to pull all the chewy white stuff out of the inside of her animals and teach her to spread it evenly around the house. She obviously doesn’t know how to do that yet because she still sleeps with her fuzzy toys. SLEEPS WITH THEM! How weird is that??? Fuzzy things must die, and I must teach her this before it is too late.

She is fun to play with though. I didn’t really have anyone to play with before, but now we wrestle and play tug of war with the new giant rope Daddy bought us. I have to be careful when we wrestle though, because she is very much smaller than me. Sometimes I step on her accidentally and that makes her cry and I feel bad about it until she stops.

Also, I think something bad might be happening to us. Some of our things have been disappearing into big brown squares. The last time we had big brown squares, Mommy and Daddy put me into a rolling box and took me far away from Nana’s house and brought me to this house. I didn’t like it here for a long time. I missed Rosie and Lexie and my yard at Nana’s house, and it smelled funny here. I had to make new friends and learn to pee in new places. I didn’t like it.

A few days ago, Mommy took me and Lucy to another place that smelled funny. The yard smelled funny and the house didn’t have any soft things to lie down on and it made funny noises when I barked. I was all empty, like it was here when we first came. I don’t like that place at all. I hope all our things are not going to that place. My friends, Cash and Knox and Tyson, were not at that place. I wish Mommy and Daddy would just stay here, where it smells like us.

But if they do have to go to that empty place, I hope they take me. I don’t want to leave my friends, but it would be bad to leave Mommy and Daddy. I’m going to follow them around and sit right in Mommy’s lap every day until then, just to make sure they don’t forget to take me when they take the big brown squares of our stuff.

Lucy doesn’t seem bothered by the big brown squares. She likes to play in them. I hope Mommy and Daddy take her too. I don’t think she could survive all by herself with her evil fuzzy toys. So at least I will know someone at this new place, if we have to go there.

Maybe having a sister isn’t so bad after all.




A fall of firsts

First car accident. First house hunt. First mortgage. First used car-buying experience.

It’s been a busy fall. And it’s only October 3.

This weekend was a very productive weekend of adult decisions. I had a yard sale. I made $13.50. (Hey, for a yard sale in which I invested no money, I came out $13.50 richer.)

We went car shopping. I now have a 2005 Ford Escape parked in the lot across the street from my office. It makes us happy. 🙂

I cut my hair short. It’s not a first-time change, but a change nonetheless.

We went washer and dryer shopping. Didn’t buy one, but priced a few and decided on what type we’d like in the new house. Also picked up more paint swatches, bringing my total collection to 1,368,294 color choices. The Mister has given up.

Lucy also had her first normal poop in the yard! (I know this is not what you needed to know today, but in very-sick-puppy land this is a big deal.)

Oh yes, Lucy, I’m supposed to show pictures, aren’t I?

(clockwise from top) Lucy claims her spot on the arm of the big chair; Lucy learns to dig holes (She did do the motions with her paws after this but didn’t really get anywhere.); Big sister is a good pillow (also for size comparison); Lucy and Meera lounging in the grass; Lucy follows Tyson (a neighbor’s dog) wherever he goes.

Other Lucy firsts this past week: First night not crying in her kennel; first real bath (for such a little dog, there was a lot of thumping and bumping from the bathroom during this exercise); first hole (attempted); first encounter with the vacuum cleaner.

New house, new hair, new car, new dog. The last thing to complete the cycle would be a new ba–… nah… let’s hold off on that one a little while yet.

I don’t think my stress levels could handle it. 🙂 😉

Happy Monday!

The good and the bad

Well, I sadly have to take back my last post. The damage the body shop found under the fender was just too much to handle, and Scooter has officially been totaled. I said goodbye to him at the body shop Friday, and it was a sad, sad moment in my life.

At least one of the employees was nice enough to take my picture with my baby before I said goodbye.


So that didn’t turn out so well. That’s the bad.

The good is that, about two hours after I posted last, we got a call that the home owners had accepted our offer on a house!

Ain’t she purty??!!

We’re still in the process of all the paperwork and approvals, but if everything continues well, we should close in time to have trick-or-treaters!!

Not excited. Not excited at all. Nope. 😀 

Quirks and Queertrons*

Wednesday seems to be unintentionally becoming my regular post day. Maybe if I made Friday my target post day I would actually get them up on Mondays. Lol.

I’ve finally gotten our apartment mostly organized and somewhat decorated, so I am happy with where we are for the moment. While we like the coziness of the place and the way it holds heat (thank goodness), it does have a few quirks that we’ve had to get used to, but I suppose every place does. Here are a few of ours:

  • The vent in the bathroom makes a loud crackling noise every time you open or close the door, so I always think something’s moving around in the house that shouldn’t be.
  • The floorboards creak, especially in the hallway, and I think they must be linked to the apartment next door because sometimes they creak when nobody’s walking on them.
  • The hot and cold faucet knobs in the kitchen are backwards, so the hot water is on the right and the cold is on the left, when they are normally the other way around. I burned myself several times before getting the hang of that. (Our water comes out HOT!)
  • The refrigerator tends to freeze things, even after we turned it down.
  • The stove makes a steaming noise like when water droplets hit the heating element… even when the stove is not on.
  • The utensil drawer in the kitchen doesn’t have a metal runner-thing on the bottom, so when you pull it out you have to hold it level because if you let go it will flip down and crash against the counter frame… and that’s if it doesn’t go completely into the floor.
  • When you run the microwave, the lamps in the living room flicker. If you run the microwave for more than three minutes at a time (say, for a baked potato), it blows a fuse and you have to turn everything back on at the breaker.
  • If the front door isn’t bolted, it moves whenever someone opens the stairway door and the pressure changes. This bothers Meera. A lot.

Ya gotta love it though. There’s nothing like having our own place again, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 🙂

[*Queertronnoun: An unexplainable force that causes strange things to happen without provocation or reason.]

If a Tree Grows in the House, can it be Trusted?

We’re moved in! Yay! We have internet! Yay! We have our Christmas tree up! Yay!

Meera, however, is not so pleased.

We moved the furniture up last Thursday and left Meera with the in-laws until the weekend, when she returned with us on Sunday afternoon. She whined in the backseat of the car for an hour until finally either deciding it wasn’t so bad or simply resigning herself to whatever fate awaited her. She wasn’t too sure about the apartment at first either, but I think she has decided it’s not so bad either. There is a big comfy chair to sit in (which she has apparently decided belongs to her) and a long driveway to drag Mommy down when we check the mail, so that seems to make it better.

I feel really bad that we weren’t able to find anything where she would have a fenced yard, and I know she has to be bored out of her mind in this tiny space, but she was an apartment dog before and she’ll learn to be one again. Eventually. But until then she’ll drive me nuts trying to trip me every time I turn around.

She’s also very confused by the Christmas decorations. She isn’t exactly afraid of the Christmas tree…. but she isn’t thrilled by its presence either. She refuses to linger in that corner and sometimes stops and looks at it with distrust. A tree in the house? That’s just not normal.

Although she does like wrapping paper. A little too much, actually. I was trying to wrap a few presents earlier and spent the first five minutes wrestling the roll away from her. She thinks it’s a giant, wonderful chew toy that she must chase around the floor as I try to move it. I’m not sure if she was trying to help or just trying to prevent me from being festive, but either way it made for a pretty good video.

Her biggest issue, however, is with the linoleum at the top of the apartment stairs. We have carpet in our apartment itself, but the inner hallway that leads from the parking area to our front door has linoleum at the top… and it petrifies her. She spent the first year and a half of her life living in houses with completely tiled floors, so you wouldn’t think this would be an issue… but now that she’s experienced carpet she hates to walk on anything else. At the in-laws’, she refused to cross the hardwood kitchen floor without bribery. Here, she sneaks to the front door and stops, tentatively lowers one paw to the tile, and then, without warning, sprints across the upper landing to the stairs so she has to spend as little time on the linoleum as possible. Unfortunately, I am attached to her when she does this, which results in much skidding of paws and yelling for her to slow down. I’m sure my neighbors love this.

We haven’t met any of the neighbors yet except in brief passing, but I know there are at least five other dogs in the complex and two children. And a cat… but the cat was lying in a dog house when I saw it, so I’m not completely sure it belongs here.

I start work tomorrow and the Mister has a good chance of starting work at a vaccine/research company in the next town over, so fingers crossed that will work out. We only have one car at the moment, so figuring out who has to drop who off and who has to leave work early to pick who up and take them where at what time will be incredibly complicated until we can get that issue resolved.

Prayers always appreciated. Holiday wishes and wet doggy kisses from the Nut House!

/the missus


Compromises must sometimes be made…

Setting the house on fire would have fixed the problem, but I decided against it.

The Mister and I moved into our new place late Saturday evening. We put a few necessary things away and settled down to watch tv before bed in our brand new master bedroom, complete with an attached bathroom that we don’t have to get dressed to use in the middle of the night.

Then, Sunday morning, we woke up in the living room, groggy and confused by our surroundings.

Alien abduction? Crazy, drunken housewarming party?

No. Army invasion.

Rewind to Saturday night. The Mister and I are lying in bed talking about the amazing amount of breeze coming in through our open window shutters. We didn’t even need the air conditioner! (Which was good because we haven’t figured out how to work it yet.) Then, a little black speck rushed across our line of vision. A mosquito. The intruder was soon vanquished and we continued our conversation. Suddenly, an eerie whining seemed to fill the air around us. Two mosquitoes. They, too, met their demise. We declared the battle won and turned out the lights. About ten minutes later, I scratched an itch on my shoulder and felt something there. I turned on the bedside lamp. A dead mosquito. Half an hour after that, the Mister jumped out of bed in a frenzy.

“I’m being eaten alive! They won’t let me sleep! Look at my legs!” He did, indeed, have several large red welts rising on the skin of his legs and feet. We turned on the lights and decided to kill the remaining insect and go back to bed. Little did we know that those first four intruders were only the scouts. The army had yet to reveal itself.

If anyone had looked through our windows over the next hour and a half, they would have seen two young people in their pajamas doing some sort of strange ritual dance involving random, jerky movements and the clapping of hands in the air at various intervals and locations. We killed fourteen mosquitoes before discovering that one of our open bathroom windows doesn’t have a screen in it. That’s when I stopped counting. Every time we’d kill one, another would zoom down from who-knows-where and begin its assault, sometimes in groups of two or more. The battlefield was covered with the bodies of the dead and wounded. Finally, at 1:30 a.m., the Mister and I sounded the retreat and, grabbing our pillows and extra linens from the closet, escaped upstairs to the living room.

Thank goodness for pull-out couches.

For whatever reason there were no mosquito soldiers in the upstairs portion of the house, so of course my brain had to invent some. I dreamed of giant mosquitos landing on the bed and refusing to be squashed. I dreamed of being literally eaten alive by the dark hordes descending, and then forced myself awake to discover that there were no whining clouds of death lurking over me.

This was all after Meera, terrified of her new surroundings, bolted out the front door and into the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by a car.

The Mister and I rolled over in the wee hours of Sunday morning, as the dawn light started to come through the porch windows, and agreed that we’d just survived the worst first night in a new house ever.

Sunday night only yielded three insect casualties and we were able to reclaim the bedroom, although the Mister was still bitten a few times by an invisible survivor. We’re taking all possible precautions to avoid another showdown, however. We try not open any doors after 5:30 p.m. and soak the window slats with Off! bug spray at about the same time, in the hopes that any stragglers will decide not to squeeze through the shutter slats and avenge the deaths of their brethren. The Mister is also sleeping in bug spray, since they seem to like him better than they do me and he’s apparently allergic to them. My bites are normal mosquito bites; his are hard, raised welts the color of tomatoes. Poor baby. Hopefully we’ll get a new window screen for the bathroom soon (we don’t have glass windows, only screens covered by adjustable wooden slats).

But our only roommate is a large lizard that lives behind the tv cabinet, so we do have that. 🙂

Do you have any new house stories to share?