Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sad To Be Back....

Hello everyone... I am safely back from Maui and am already having withdrawls.... I will upload the pictures over the weekend and when I stop thinking its 3 hours earlier that it really is I will go ahead and tell you all about it.

Right now I still feel like I am on a boat...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gaasssspppp- No The World Hasn't Ended

Hey, I remember this website......OMG its like riding a bicycle, wooohoooo look at me I am blogging. Ok enough of that, here I am unscarred unmaimed, just a really bad blogger. I have no excuse other than I lost the taste for blogging but I read all of yours actively each day. But a few of you, Melina, Michele, Retro Girl, check in on me, so I thought it was time to blog and try and catch you up since the last time I blogged. Which was??????? Ohoh Halloween..... WOW, is that some kind of record? Do I get a prize???? No? Thought I would try. Ok where to start....

All of you know I have a newish house ( its been over 6 months now). I have slowly and steadily been working on that and its still a work in progress. With the great weather we have been having I have been out in the garden more. I will take pictures and show you the before and after. I hope to start planting my vegetable garden, I want to plant tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, carrots, strawberries....... I just recently started my herb garden ( Thank you Michele) and this morning I saw my first little sprouts of herbs, now if I had only remembered to mark which ones were which. The Specialist has been a huge help digging holes, pruning, and generally making sure I don't get carried away with the shears. He planted a Japanese Maple for me about 4 weeks ago and it is thriving and covered in new leaves, its great to see it grow. Unfortunately I have the worst quality soil so he has had to dig up dirt, take out the rocks, bark and junk, and mis in peet moss stuff ( yes, that is the techincal term ) to enrich it. My garden isn't a small project, thankfully this weekend is the Orchard Suppy No Sales Tax Sales. I can't tell you how excited I am.

In a week from today The Specialist and I will be sipping Mai Tais and staring at a Maui sunset. Yes we are off to Maui for 5 days for my Dad's wedding. I promise to post pictures as I will be decked out in a bridesmaid dress that makes me feel like I am going back to prom. I have no issues in embarrassing myself, so don't you worry you will be able to see me in all of my glory........ with a Mai Tai in hand. I plan on swimming alot, snorkeling, drinking, swimming, drinking, you get the idea. We are staying north of Lahaina and while we are out there we are going to visit a friend that moved there in January, so it will be great to see her. I have ( yes have to ) go get a new bikini, the one I have isn't what I would call family appropriate. I need something that covers alot more :) No, I am not walking around in a Brazilian G-String, but the winter months haven't been kind and I have been lazy so a tankini it is. I plan on working out everyday until the day I leave, better late than not at all right?

Other than that I have done my taxes ( or paid someone to do them), had all my yearly check ups, and am just chugging along. My Jeep deicided that in the midst of doing the taxes and Dr.'s appointments that it would be a fine time to crap out on me. So being the wonderful man he is, The Specialist ordered all the parts and did all the work and a few extra things to the Jeep. She runs better than when we dropped her off. I got a rental car for two days which was fun seeing as I thought this was the end of the Jeep and I was freaking out about having to get a new car. So renting one for two days was like a prolonged test drive. And then I got my Jeep back running like well she isn't the smoothest ride but she is tough ( at least to me).

OH, one thing I did was join Curves and no they aren't paying me for this, but I love it ( when I finally get my butt there). I feel comfortable, not like I am being watched. I know the routine instead of hopelessly wandering around a gym hoping I am doing the exercise right. Its only a block from my house so I can walk ( I said can, not that I do). Funny side story: The one time I decided to walk to the gym and be a good girl. I was walking along and from farther down the block a guy was walking his dog. As he and the dog are almost next to me, the dog lunged at me and tried to eat me. I was so shocked, this has never happened to me before. The poor guy was so embarrassed but I survived and never walked to the gym again.

Well thats it for me... I will check in soon ;) but don't hold your breathe.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I know I have been the worst blogger. I admit. Even The Specialist asks from time to time, “have you blogged in awhile?”, that question usually follows a commercial about blogging. And my blog friends are starting to get restless ( Hi Kate!). So here is a list of updates for the past century of not blogging.

- I closed escrow on my old condo on 10/12/07. It is such a relief to have that off my plate. I spent the 7 days that it was on the market, sick to my stomach with worry. I am sure all of you are like, huh only 7 days?!?! And let me tell you, 7 days of torture. After all the remodeling that took place and the money I had spent, all I could think about is what if it didn’t sell. How was this going to work…. I had financially prepared myself to carry the house for a month or two at the most. But of course with any new house there were unforeseen needs like a water softener and possibly a new water heater. And of course the things I wanted but not really needed. But thankfully all that is over and I can concentrate on the property tax bill that needs to be paid on the new house. I feel like I am hemorrhaging money, if you cut me I think I would bleed dollar bills. Please don’t try though, thanks.
- The new house is coming along. I spent a lot of last weekend decorating and getting my artwork hung up. 85% of the pictures are hung and the last few need an extra set of hands. The last on the list is the couches but those may wait until next year. We will see.
- In exciting news, if you didn’t already hear about it, we had a pretty good earthquake last night. It’s been 18 years since the last big earthquake and to be honest we needed one. It was a 5.6 and that was enough to shake everyone up (except Tiff who managed to not feel it at all) without causing any damage. Being a native Californian I would like to say I weathered it like a pro, but why lie. I was shaken up after it, I don’t think I will ever get use to it. My and The Specialists cell phones were knocked out for about 20 minutes but came back and we called all the loved ones to make sure everyone was ok. When I got home I totally expected this one book shelves that is VERY rickety to have fallen over, but nope, it was still standing. The earthquake felt bigger than it was. At first I thought it was thunder since we had that the day before, but with thunder the ground doesn’t usually shake at the same time.
- OHOH I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this……. I get the honor (and no I am not being sarcastic) to be BFTiff’s Maid of Honor. I am very excited because you know I get to buy a new dress and shoes and throw parties and well booze booze all the time. Poor Tiff is probably regretting her choice or she knows I will keep her well plied with alcohol, hell what are best friends for. I couldn’t be happier for her and The Boy. I think I almost burst in to tears when she asked me to be her maid of honor.

I read all my bloggy friends blogs everyday, so even if I don’t comment just know that I am there checking in.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Waiting is Killing Me!

Today is the day that my old place that I bought in 2003 at the tender age of 24 is on the market to be sold. Right now realtors are walking thru it making notes, seeing they have clients that would want to purchase it. I had some work done on the place, you can see here :

I have butterflies in my stomach. I want to sell this place quickly and not have two mortgages looming over my head like black rain clouds. I did make financial arrangements to be able to carry two mortgages for a short, short while. My hope is that someone falls in love with it as I did 4 years ago ( it looks better now that it did 4 years ago) and wants to pay a fair price and move in quickly. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!!

Here are a few pics of what it looked like when I bought it in 2003:

A little different....

Monday, September 17, 2007

Beware- Rants ahead!

As you have guess this blog will be dedicating more time to my house, sometimes not the most thrilling thing, but this is it baby! By the way, this is a long one.

I have a few pent up rants, be forewarned…..

Rant #1: A King Size Bed:

To go with my new grown up house, I thought it was time to get a grown up bed. The bed I had been sleeping in for the past 12 years was a full and well the cat and I needed more space. So The Specialist and I went bed shopping, it’s actually kind of fun. I even laid on a $20,000.00 (no, I didn’t add a zero) mattress. But the first mattress we laid on was my favorite, I was sold. I opted to get the Eastern King instead of the California King , the Eastern King is wider but about 4 inches shorter than the California King and since neither The Specialist or I are over 6’2” in height, wider seemed better. What I didn’t account for was the sheets, apparently us Californians are bias and only stock Cal. King sheets, with a few East King sheets thrown in sparingly to make it look like we are prejudice. But when all you want are white, over 400 thread count, Eastern King Sheets, you are asking too much. I went to every local store to find sheets for my new very awesome bed. By the time I hit Macy’s I was ready to throw the spoiled brat tantrum. Macy’s carries Eastern King Sheets, but only if you are willing give them your first born in return. I kid you not one (yes, one) fitted sheet was $80, so by the time you end up with the entire sheet set you are penniless. Now of course the smart thing would have been to order sheets online. But I am big on the sense of touch, I need to touch the sheets before I buy them, make sure I am not buying something that will give me a body scrub in the middle of the night, I can go to the spa for that. I did find a set of sheets that look nice, but from now on, I am ordering them online. It just doesn’t look right when I am stomping my foot or flailing on the ground in the middle of the store screaming “ But all I want are Eastern king sheets.”.

Rant #2: Neighbors

This isn’t about my new neighbors, so far I love them. Mind you I live in a 5 unit condo complex, there is no anonymity there. But I am referring to my old house, this past week it has been given a little face lift for resale value. The kitchen counters, cabinets, and carpets were all redone. New paint and crown molding where added. The workers had 7 days to do all of this. And I commend them, they did a lot of work in a short period of time even with the threat of cops being called on them. Yes, I just said cops, and no you won’t see them on the TV show. Before all the work started I consulted the condo management company to make sure I didn’t need their permission for the work, it turns out that I didn’t so I gave the green light to the realtor and designer. I get a call Friday night from the realtor letting me know that some of the work will be “delayed”, of course I was curious. Apparently a neighbor that I have never met in my four years of living there was taking it upon herself to throw a fit and threaten the cops on the workers because of the noise. Yes home improvement isn’t a quiet past time, but the workers were after 9 am and gone by like 7 pm in the evening, they weren’t breaking any noise pollution rules. But this woman was home sick and they were disrupting her. Gee whiz lady, I am surprised you didn’t drive down to the local Air Force base and ask them to stop all flights because you have the sniffles. How dare you trespass on my property without my approval and yell at my workers causing a delay in the work to my house. Go ahead and call the cops, I would love to have a chat with them as well. She continued to disrupt the work for three days even though she was given the realtors phone number in case she had any “concerns”. Oh course she didn’t call realtor because why would she speak with someone that might actually fight back. Sadly I wasn’t made aware of these intrusions until it was after the fact. I was dieing to give her a piece of my mind.

Rant #3: Sometimes it’s better to do it yourself:

The new place required a little painting and cleaning before I moved it. So painters were hired at the recommendation of my realtor as well as a house cleaner. I was so excited about not doing it myself. I am not the best painter or house cleaner, but even I have standards. I was disappointed to see that the painters did only an ok job, there was paint on the carpet, white paint freckles on my dark taupe bathroom wall and the outlets covers were painted over. I of course complained and some of these items were taken care of. Everything but the outlet covers. But it really pisses me off that a sub par job had been done on both the painting and the cleaning. I paid good money to have this done and when it isn’t done to what I expect, it’s irritating. Even with the cleaning, great you made my windows shine, awesome, thank you. But what about the cat hair bunnies under the lip of the stove FROM THE PREVIOUS CAT. Its little stuff like that. I could have cleaned myself and left the cat hair bunnies, at least I have only myself to blame. But I parted with money to have those left behind.

Ok that is it for now.

I Feel Like a Homeowner

I know this going to sound weird, but I finally feel like a homeowner. Yes, I feel like I am hemorrhaging money, but that isn’t why. I guess you need a little background. I bought my first condo in 2003, it was an apartment conversion and literally the best decision I had ever made. And on top of it, there were no repairs or upgrading that needed to be done. All the updating had been done by the previous owner, yay me. But this time around is a little different. But not a bad different, more of a “ I love this place”, it feels more like mine. I can’t say everything has been a complete joy, I am learning the situation of hard water. It clogs all water related appliances with calcium build up that looks like sand, like a hose was stuck in the ocean and I was sucking up my water supply from there. In the first week, the hoses on the washer needed to be replaced, the dishwasher was taken apart and all the pumps and gadgets cleaned, and more than once I have stared at my water heater wondering if a troll with a sledge hammer was trapped inside. Oh and I can’t forget the water line for the fridge and the water filter on the kitchen faucet. I hate hard water it is possibly causing me to get a water softener and replacing the water heater. It has yet to be determined. But it still makes this place feel real, like a real house with quirks and projects that need to be done. And seriously I am so lucky that The Specialist is a handyman Genius, there is no project he can’t do and on top of it he is very patient when I want to learn exactly what he is doing. I have always been happy to say I could hold my own and fix things, unless it involves spiders. But I literally throw up my hands and ask The Specialist ,what the problem is and how it is fixed. I have to be honest that some of these issues were a little unexpected, coming from a maintenance free house. But I enjoy them even though I may roll my eyes. I can safely say that I have the floor plan of Lowe’s ( like Home Depot) memorized and I am sure that the employees are going to start calling me by my first name. The hardest this for me is that I am not a patient person, I want it all done now, I don’t want boxes in the house anymore, I want to be able to park in my garage and my garden to look beautiful. Oh and I have a June Bug the size of a Walnut that floats around my Morning Glory in the morning- His name is George.

This past weekend was a busy one at house ( I have yet to come up with a name for the new place), the new bed was delivered ( I will go in to a tirade about King Size sheets in another post, and the Direct TV guy set up the TV. One of the big projects is replacing all the light switches, faceplates, and outlets in the house. The painters that I had come in painted over half of the outlet covers and the other half they removed the face plates but still managed to get paint on the light switches and plug holes. There is something to be said for just doing it yourself.

But the best part about all of it………………..It’s mine :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Move is over!!!!

So it’s done. I am in my new house. Of course with any major project , it wasn’t without its mishaps. I had rented a Uhaul to handle all my stuff. I had moved beyond the time I could pack everything I own in a truck or two. I mean I actually Own furniture now ( or have since 2003). I picked up The Specialist at 7 am to pick up the Uhaul ( oh and I can’t even begin to thank The Specialist enough, but I will go more in to that later) only to be told that the location I was instructed to pick up the truck didn’t have my reservation and I was suppose to go to the “other” location. The “other” location turned out to be a gas station that rents out one Uhaul truck. You read that right ONE. Oh and it turned out that they also didn’t have my reservation- You can imagine our combined anger and frustration, we had been trying to locate this Uhaul for over an hour at this point. The Specialist, being the genius he is, started calling other Uhaul locations to find a truck that wasn’t being used. We did manage to find one and get on our way.
We met my friends at my old place and started the removal of all my worldly possessions. The cat went to the groomers to get out of my hair for a few hours seeing as when he was locked in the bathroom he started to make the most un-natural sounds I have ever heard. My mom bless her took on that assignment – I needed to pack up the last minutes things.
With all most all the stuff packed, the Specialist asked me are you sure you have everything. I said I had, I mean I had been a complete space case for the last week, but that couldn’t mean that I hadn’t packed up all of my stuff. I hear from the deck, umm no you didn’t get everything, as I am yelling, yes I did. I walk out to my deck and I gasp remembering my storage closet hadn’t been emptied. Frustration wells up inside of me, I can’t believe I had forgotten, but again I have been a complete and utter space case for over a week. Seriously if my head hadn’t been attached I would have lost it. Then the running joke of the day, was “I found another closet”, I couldn’t help but laugh.
The move in the new place was less eventful and I was so happy. Now I walk thru the sea of boxes muttering to myself, tomorrow, tomorrow. But really it has to be done by Wednesday because my new refrigerator arrives. But back to the house.
After my wonderful friends helped move me in to my new place. The Specialist and I started working on a few projects:
1) The washing machine was broken. Being the Handyman GENIUS , The Specialist was able to fix it so that I could use my washer. The new part arrived Monday – but it works great without it. I just don’t dare open the washer during the spin cycle, at the risk of being attacked by my clothes.
2) The AWESOME new TV- right now all I am watching are DVD’s but Direct TV gets hooked up on Saturday.
3) The shower rod in my bathroom.
I am so so so grateful for The Specialist’s help, I couldn’t or even wouldn’t have known what to do about the washer and that shower rod requires four hands.

The list of projects is a little daunting right now but at least the painting is done and now I just need to attack the boxes.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I've Been Keeping a Secret....

I was waiting until yesterday to get photographic evidence to share my secret. As you know from an earlier post I have been looking for a new place to live. My little condo that I bought 4 years ago has served its purpose but I have outgrown its walls. It was time to move up. And that is exactly what I did, on Friday August 10th, my offer was accepted on a new place. It is a 2 bedroom 2 and a half bathroom condo, 1104 square feet ( a vast improvement from my 662 sq ft now). And while it is a condo the best part about it , is that the way the complex was constructed, each unit is connected by the one car garage with no living space walls touching. It feels like a single family residence. I have a small backyard, so I can try my hand at gardening, and knowing me I will have a backyard of plastic plants instead of really ones. I will also have a garage!!!! The goal will now be not to be a pack rat. There are two master suites with their own bathrooms AND the best of own washer and dryer!!!!! After 6 years of coin op laundry facilities, I can't tell you how freaking excited I am . Here are a few pictures:

My Living Room :
My Kitchen:
My Dining Room:
Master Bedroom
Master BathroomGuest Bedroom

Guest BathroomNow I haven't moved in yet, I don't close escrow until August 31, after that I will paint before I move in. The seller's had a thing for color, like Army Green, Cloud Grey, Pumpkin, Chartreuse Green and Grey stripes. Not my style at all.

I am off of work next week and I will spend that time packing up. I am sure that I will be reminded about how much I hate packing :) But I am very excited and can't wait to move it. I will post new pictures after the paint is done and periodically when I finish new projects.

Bye for now.