Archive for the ‘moving’ Category

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.


Our Blue Heaven

August 19, 2007

Here it is! The front porch is painted, and I think that the white roof looks just gorgeous against the blue, blue sky. Here it is from the front:

And from the side, so you can see our oaks just to the right of the house:

So we got some of our new furniture today. The chest of drawers is still on backorder, and the table top that the drivers brought was cracked, so they had to bring it back to American Signature Furniture. But the sofa, chair, ottoman and cocktail table arrived for the living room:

The sofa is incredibly soft and luscious; I can’t wait to sink into it and read a good book.

The refrigerator had come earlier this week, to complete our kitchen. My advice to anyone ordering an LG appliance that’s not in stock at the store? Order it at least four months in advance of the date that you actually want the refrigerator delivered. Ours was purchased back in mid-April.

We really wanted this model, though (the LFD25860) for a few reasons: 1. It is energy efficient (only 499 kWh/year). 2. It is available in titanium, so no Stainless Steel finish smudges. 3. It has a water-only dispenser, not water and ice, which saves energy and I think ice is gross anyway. Somehow icemakers always get bugs in them, no matter what. 4. It has a tilt-out freezer. And, last but not least, 5. It has French doors. This was the only model that met all of our criteria, so we waited patiently from April to August for this refrigerator to arrive at the Appliance Direct.

Now, our master bedroom furniture caused problems. The master bedroom is upstairs, and our armoire is apparently incredibly heavy. So the two movers, doing their best with the armoire, still made two bangs in the wall:

One of the two movers was a weak link, and we were thankful to get away with just these dents. He literally almost dropped the entire armoire down the stairs, which would have smashed our stairs, our floor, our banister, and, last but not least, his moving partner. I just don’t think this guy was cut out for moving. He was a large-ish sized man, but he just didn’t have the strength to match his appearance.

On his way upstairs with the footboard of our bed (come on – a footboard? That shouldn’t be too heavy), he gave us this lovely gift:

Thankfully, Woody is still part of our lives, so we can beg and plead with him to do a nice patch job for us. We’re not sure how we are going to be able to bear to part with Woody and are thinking about keeping him on retainer, just so we have someone to whom we can cry, “Help!” when anything goes wrong.

Here is the infamous armoire, or drywall-smashing repute:

And here is the rest of our bedroom set, sans chest of drawers, obviously. I think that we did a very nice job matching the sconces to our furniture:

Moving back downstairs, we have the six chairs for our dining table, just in case we ever decide to abandon our lives as recluses and become social butterflies:

And here is our dining table itself, proving that half a table is, indeed, no better than no table:

Last but not least, Andy took another photo of our downstairs bath, of which we are oh-so-proud:

If cheerful and soothing were a house, they would be our house. I love it! And we are lucky enough to have our apartment until mid-September, so, unlike past moves, we can make slow, leisurely progress. We’ve already moved over some of our books, and our next big project is to install a mailbox! Oh, and a water softener (so’s we don’t smell like rotten eggs after our showers there) and a generator (so’s we don’t lose all power during hurricanes).

House, house, house, house!