Thursday, September 30, 2021

You know you're old when you are excited about spending your birthday making a road trip to pick out granite.

Even though the housebuilding has been at a near-standstill as we wait for supplies, our builder wants us getting everything lined up and ready to go. Cabinets have been ordered, bamboo flooring is waiting for us to pick up, and we needed to make a decision about kitchen counter tops. I know granite is no longer "in" but you know what? I don't care. I love it. I have used it in both kitchen remodels and it is just indestructible. You can set a hot pan right on it without damaging it. You can even cut on it and only risk dulling your knife. So it was really just a matter of finding a granite we both liked and that would go with the cabinets we'd already ordered. We looked at a LOT of granite, at 8 different places. Some we went back to more than once, getting quotes on different styles. There are so many options. As with many things, probably too many options. Some we liked and then discovered they were just out of our budget.We even drove the two hours to a company's main warehouse, only to find there was only the owner there on Saturdays and so we couldn't have slabs moved to look at.  
As we kept looking, we altered what we were looking for from lighter to darker. We knew we wanted something with lots of variation, that would look good with cherry wood cabinets. We got a quote on one we both liked and made plans to go pick out the actual slab.
So yesterday, we went back to Baxter (home of the Upperman Bees), this time when we knew there would be someone to move slabs for us.
It's a two person job, and we were told to stand back behind the line. Temel, the owner of the company, drove that stone-lifting machine.
This is what we settled on. It's called Galaxus and is from Brazil.
And a close up, to see the color variation. I don't think I'll get tired of looking at that. We signed a contract and they are holding it until the kitchen is ready to have it installed. And at this point in my life, this felt like a pretty good a way to spend my birthday.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Our temporary digs.

When we decided to put our house on the market so we could build, our realtor warned us that rentals were in short supply and to line that up first. She wasn't kidding. Most places I enquired about wouldn't even respond. Others were such dives we had to pass them up. So when this little house showed up, I did a quick drive by and then my husband met the owners with a check for the first 9 months. It was built in 1940 and is in a quiet neighborhood that's a bit of a drive but not terrible.
There are mature dogwoods in the front and a cute firepit area out back with swings. (That's our cornhole board, which we have yet to use here.)
But it's a small house. 700 SF, to be exact. This is a realtor photo, with a wide angle lens that makes it look far more spacious than it is. It was furnished except for the bedrooms. But that cafe table and chairs took up half the small kitchen so we stuck them in the basement for the time being. Along with a television that didn't work. I also took down those dreadful curtains.
Turns out the old farmhouse didn't originally have an indoor bathroom and one was added later. To do that, they had to make the door to the smaller bedroom less that two feet wide. And that meant that the desk I planned to put in there so I could use it as my office would not fit through the door. So it's in the corner of our bedroom.
First, I have no idea what that weird protrusion is. But see that window?
This is what's on the other side of it. They just tiled right on over the window. I call this the midget tub. Just the other side of it is a tiny space for a stackable washer and dryer, which we weren't willing to invest in for such a short period of time. My husband has taken on laundromat duty until the new house is built and our washer and dryer are in storage along with much of our furniture.
There is another tiled-over window on the other side of this stove. There is virtually no counter space and I've also discovered that I hate over-the-stove microwaves. I don't like lifting hot things down from above my line of vision. The stove didn't work when we moved in and we discovered that not only was it not plugged in, there wasn't even a electric cord attached to it. Whoever remodeled made some hasty decisions.
But it's a fine place to stay for now, so I'm not really complaining. I would have loved to have seen it back when it was surrounded by farmland and still using the coal that would have gone down this chute into the basement. Turns out, it used to be owned by the couple across the street, Bud and Joanne. 
That's Bud, working in his garden. He's out there every day. Joanne seems to spend a lot of time on the riding lawnmower or walking around spraying weeds. They are both 90. I'm in awe.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

And then this happened.

Did you even know there was such a thing as grass fleas? I didn't. But now I do. The front beds at this rental house were pretty overgrown with all the rain we've gotten and so I waded in to get them back to semi-reasonable. In sandals and yoga pants. Big mistake. Those little freakers ate me alive and I din't know it until that night when suddenly my legs were on fire. Apparently they love tall vegetation and wet conditions. It's been more than a week now and I look about the same with barely any reduction in itching. And that is even after a cortisone shot and benedryl. The weeds can take over this house for all I care, I will NOT be doing more weeding.
Up at the Ridge, the footers got poured and then nothing this past week as our builder waits for supplies to be delivered. With disruptions to the supply chain just standard now, I think we will be doing a lot of waiting.
In the meantime, the big raccoon continues to sponge off us, coming by every night to eat the cat's food in the shed. Look at his footprint compared to the little kitty paw next to it.
He doesn't seem to bother the cats, so we tolerate him. Sometimes if it has been a couple of days and the food runs out, he gets angry and tosses things around in the shed. But otherwise, no real damage done. I enjoy checking the trail cam we have set up to see when he visits.
The trail cam also notes when we arrive, of course. I usually turn it off if we are there for a while, but first things first - there are cats demanding affection.
And then on Tuesday, there was this. Two people poking around near the shed and tiny house. Incidentally, the only way onto the property is through or around a padlocked gate with a 'no trespassing' sign on it. So this was no innocent "we just happened to be wandering by" event. 
One of the two stayed mostly off camera. And how they didn't notice the trail cam, which isn't hidden at all, I couldn't say. Too busy looking at everything else, I guess. I sent the photos to the Sheriff's department and then spoke with a deputy who said they'd do occasional drive-bys. But hell, in a place this small everybody is kin to everybody and these people could be family of the Sheriff for all we know. Whoever they are, they've figured out that we aren't there during the weekdays. I'm hoping once building gets going, the more constant presence will deter these folks. Because man, I don't want to end up in one of those redneck scenarios where I'm shooting a methhead who is trespassing.
Deep breath. And your moment of Zen with this little hummingbird who triggered the trailcam one evening.