Archive for October, 2007

In Like Flynn!

October 13, 2007

We’ve moved in, though one of the disadvantages of living in the wilds of Florida is that we no longer have a high speed Internet connection.  No DSL.  No cable.  Nada.  So the photos accompanying this post will have to wait until I am at work and happen to have a free moment – ha!

Since I last posted, several things have happened, the two biggest of which are that we moved in and school started (I am a teacher).  The school at which I teach prepared for 1400 kids, though 1600 had enrolled; they clung in vain to the belief that 200 children would not show up on the first day.  What actually happened was that OVER 1600 showed up, and more continue to enroll, so class sizes are nowhere near Florida’s “suggested” classroom size of 22 children.  Boo.  Hiss.  The reason I mention this is that it accounts for the fact that I have not posted in about two months.  Poor blog.

Our moving day was not without its hitches, though we did remarkably well, considering.  My primary advice to moving families would be to inspect the tires of your U-Haul or Ryder truck BEFORE leaving the lot.  When we moved from New York to North Carolina, quite a few years ago, our move was enlivened by the U-Haul truck experiencing a blowout in BFE Pennsylvania.  On this move, we got up early, picked up the U-Haul, began loading our furniture into it, only to find that one tire was flat.   We then called the repair shop, and, between them giving the repairman the wrong city and the repairman experiencing a fear of storms (he refused to exit his vehicle until the storm had passed, a matter of several hours), we weren’t able to get going until around 2:00 pm.  The good news was that we made the move in two trips, and no further flat tires happened to disrupt our journey.

And now, a bit about life in the house, since being in a place and using appliances is always different in practice than in theory.

The house:

We love it; it’s solidly built, and the walls are very, very quiet.  My favorite feature is the 12′ wide sliding glass door, though the window treatments for this cost us an arm and a leg (always something to consider when determining the cost of the house: window treatments).  We have only purchased window treatments for the master bedroom and the great room, since these are fairly expensive things.

I also enjoy the library shelves; it’s wonderful to finally have a place to store all of our books.  The under-the-stairs closet was another stroke of genius on our part.  We have a lot of random crap that’s not fit to display, but that we are reluctant to discard.

The appliances:

Our washing machine leaked when we first ran it, but we called out the Appliance Direct repairman.  He came promptly and tugged on the front of the machine, explaining that it sometimes gets a little bent by the delivery men.  Sure enough, this solved our problem.  We like the front-loading washing machine.  When we began to use this appliance, we’d sit in front of it, enraptured by the swirling clothing.

Our  dishwasher is a mixed bag.  It is very, very silent, which is great.  We don’t even know it’s running, until it begins draining out the water.  On the other hand, it doesn’t clean terribly well.  We usually end up with 3-6 dishes, pieces of silverware, pots, etc. per load that need a hand washing.  These aren’t pieces that had baked-on food, either, so I’m mystified as to why it leaves so many of our dishes unclean.

Our refrigerator is good: easy access, especially the tilt-out freezer.  There are two features I’m not wild about.  The first is the French doors, because you have to give these a nice, solid press in order to close them all the way.  I’m used to a door that you just kind of swing shut, and off it closes on its own.  These definitely take a deliberate act of closing to fully shut.  The second feature is the alarm, which goes off after the doors have been opened after around 30 seconds.  This is extremely irritating when one is attempting to put away groceries, but I don’t turn the alarm off because of the aforementioned door closing issue.  Several times now the alarm has alerted us that we didn’t close the doors deliberately enough.  Other than that, we like the refrigerator.  It’s well-laid-out and is quiet and energy efficient.

The range is awesome.  No cons at all about it.  The small upper oven preheats very, very rapidly.  We actually haven’t used the larger oven yet, so this is a good energy-saving feature.  The gas cooktop is nice, and my husband enjoys the sear that he gets on the food, as compared to our former electric coiltop range.

The furniture:

We’re very happy with our American Signature Plantation Cove furniture.  The down cushions on our couch are nice and comfy, and the bedroom furniture is nice and solid.  No complaints there.

The yard:

I’m having so much fun with this!  We purchased an electric mower (zero emissions, baby!), and I have been cutting grass for the first time in my life.  I’m sure the novelty will wear off quickly, so I’m enjoying it while I can.

We rented a cordless drill and used some leftover pieces of Hardie board to make raised vegetable garden beds.  I’ve started some vegetables (peas, tomatoes, okra, and spinach), so we’ll see how that shakes down.

We spent several days hoeing a patch that will be our butterfly garden eventually, also.   Right now, I have in it one hosa, two Mexican heathers, and a few very, very tiny Orange Cosmos plants.  I’ve got some seedlings that are still too small to be transplanted, of dill, milkweed, and mistflowers, and we purchased two coral honeysuckle vines: one to climb around our well’s lattice work and the other to climb around the fence by the butterfly garden.  We will see how that works out also.

We also bought two Walter’s Viburnum bushes and planted them in a clear area by the fence that separates us from the neighbors with the aggressive dogs.  The dogs are getting better, but still not enough where I trust Hannah outside alone with them.

Hannah loves the clumps of palmettos and oaks.  She can happily spend 20 minutes at a time crawling through these thick patches.  I’m afraid that she’ll be bitten by a snake, but there’s not much I can do about it, short of razing the yard, which I’m not willing to do.

So that’s about it for us.  We still haven’t finished unpacking and organizing everything.  Perhaps that will be a task for me during winter break.