Friday, August 30, 2013

Moving trauma (I'm being dramatic...)

(This closet looks like the inside of my mind right now, minus the calm Jesus statue)

This is going to be the kind of post that should probably just be an email to my sister or mom (you know, the people who will feign sympathy for me), but I'm making the executive decision to share it with you, too. Lucky you!

So. Last Sunday we went to the house to clean the floors, put down some rugs, and start cleaning things out. Peter hooked up our washing machine (which blissfully works!) while I scrubbed the tub. I was working my magic with my beloved magic eraser (tubs have to be the grossest thing to inherit from someone else, am I right?). Water is going on and off, and after lots of scrubs, I am happy.

Downstairs, Peter had moved on from the washing machine to the fridge. When I came down, he pointed to a giant grey mark on the ceiling shaped like a Hawaiian island and said, "It's wet." He's very calm about these things.

But ughhhhhhh.

The one plumber we knew was booked solid all week, so we did our best with Yelp. This one has a happy ending because he came on Tuesday and fixed the leak.

On Monday, our beloved contractor called us to say our house had "one bag of worms after another." I know! But we do love him, especially because he's very honest and he loves talking with us and showing us stuff and he's very non-pushy and practical (if you're in the Boston-area looking for someone, let me know! But you can't have him until he's done with me :) Sooo we went over to the house on Tuesday morning to check out the worm bag. This time it's that all the walls of the entry addition were made with particle board. We had the Ikea of additions, so to speak. It needs be replaced with real wood that won't absorb crazy amounts of water or pose a fire hazard.

I mean, this is a happy ending, too, because I don't want moldy, particle board walls! I want normal walls, and they will be fixed, and it won't be that big of deal (hopefully - cross your toes for me).

On to the next. All this week we've been bringing over clothes and breakables. I had this grand plan to get a lot of stuff set-up prior to our move-in, like the kitchen and our closets; I know this is sort of crazy behavior. Anyways, Peter was game, and since he was still on summer vacation for most of the week, he did most of the heavy lifting in the packing + transportation + unloading department.

Last night, we brought over our final load (which was Peter's fourth of the day, OMG). We got everything out, the house was vacuumed, the kitchen was in working order. On the way over I asked if Peter wanted to grab a burger at one of our favorite spots. It was around 9:00 p.m. and we were so starving, and this was just such a great treat idea.

We hopped in the car, and it goes, "Click, click, click, click, claaaaaank." It was so mad at us. Our car is eight years old, but it's led a relatively cushy life free from long commutes and such. And we had pushed her to the limit this week. Our battery (the original!) was finally dying. I called AAA and spoke to the nicest employee ever who checked all over to see if someone could come replace our battery right then, but no such luck. While I was speaking with her, Peter called in Thai take-out, which is always dramatic when you have a soy allergy, but he succeed. The woman was going to send someone out to give us a jump.

(Here's another weird twist - I always have jumper cables in my car, but this week - this week only! - they were in our old apartment because of all the other stuff we were hauling in the car.)

We were waiting for our take-out and our AAA jumper person to come, when Peter decided to try one more time to start the car. It worked. We left it on while we waiting for our noodles and then hustled home. This morning the car made the same noise when we tried to turn it on, so AAA was called again, and this time a battery-replacer guy was available, and he was my hero of the morning. Happy ending there, too.

And yet! Later this morning our movers came and everything is a hodge-podge of placement because of all the work being done on the front of the house, which is annoying to a swift un-packer like myself. But the real worst is that both of our box springs don't fit up the narrow stairwell to the second floor. I know we'll probably need to buy new split box springs and it will all be fine. But we want to open up the stairway in the not terribly distant future anyway, so it just feels awful to have to do that for this temporary fix. I know I'll get over it (whatever we decide to do), but it's sort of set me over the edge for the time being. Not happy (yet).

I know people are always like, "Hardy har, welcome to homeownership - where disaster never ends!!!" But that's not true all the time, right?! This was just a particularly rough week of initiation?!?!?! I hoping on the Jesus statue in the closet that that's what it was.

If this were an email, I would end it here, but since this is a blog post, I feel like I need to wish you a very happy Labor Day Weekend (which I really do wish for you!). Hopefully we'll be going to the Berkshires for a last summer hurrah, but I feel like just saying that could jinx the entire Western Mass region.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Progress in the Entryway

Remember the last time I showed you our entry way and living room?!

When we were away on vacation, we got some sad news from our contractor. There was some hidden rot under the old porch foundation that would need a bit more work than we originally anticipated. An engineer came out to assess what needed to be done to rebuild it so it will be structurally sound for the long-haul.

The silver lining is that because the work is more invasive now and the engineer had to come out to give us his feedback anyways, we get to fully take out the sliding glass door and have our beam installed into the ceiling now! We were originally planning on doing that part a bit later (and just removing the doors), but I'm thrilled that we're able to build that into this phase of work instead.

We're also going to have a wall put up to create an entryway and build a closet in the corner near the door. It's obviously somewhat far from being done, but we've very excited! It's neat to see progress, even though it's sort of crazy looking for now!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Agricultural Fair

Those little piglets above were only three days old! There were six of them, and I felt so badly for their mom.

I feel like I should have some more to say about the MV Ag Fair, but sadly, that seems to be about it (let's blame it on moving brain, okay?).

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sending the Carpet Bagging

This is the long narrow bedroom I mentioned earlier - beautiful contact paper covering the walls!

Last weekend after we came home from a blissful two weeks of vacation, we ran right over the new house. We hadn't spent much time there since closing, and moving day is fast approaching. We needed to make it a bit more livable, especially upstairs.

We went armed with carpet removal supplies - pry bars, flat head screwdrivers, pliers, utility knives, and dust masks.

Pulling up the actual carpet was a breeze, and super satisfying. Your floors are revealed! We have a dumpster outside at the moment for the other work that's being done in the house, so we threw all the old rugs and padding right in there.

Not a glamorous job...

What comes after the carpets are gone is way worse - hours spent pulling up the carpet tack strip and hundreds of stubborn staples that were scattered all around. Our backs were so sore by the end!

I cleaned them up later with Bona floor cleaner, so the floors now look slightly better than they do above. But because we're going to be shifting walls around up there in the not-so-distant future, we're not worrying about them too much. After that work is done, we'll see if we can patch and have them re-finished, or we'll put new hardwood down.

But for now, it's no longer a pink and green allergy fest! Thank goodness.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Martha's Vineyard: The New

Since I've already posted so much about Martha's Vineyard in the past, I'm just going to give a quick run-down of all the new stuff we did this year! And then share a million pictures in subsequent posts.

  • Lucky Hank's is a new spot in Edgartown we went to for breakfast (instead of Art Cliff - we're still mad at them for messing up a bunch of time last year). The food and coffee are tasty. The dining area feels like you're sitting on someone's porch, which is nice and intimate.
  • Royal and Ancient Links is an old 9-hole golf course on Chappy that's recently been opened up to the public. It's Scottish-style golf with lots of obstructions, even though the holes are short. Brad and Kent, the brothers who run the course, are charming and funny. Don't forget your cash! And maybe your own beer for after you play :) You can sit on the deck of the Crow Bar to drink it.
  • Martha's Vineyard Ag Fair is getting its own post of adorable photos :) Quirky and fun, including awesome events like pig races!
  • State Road has been on our to-try list for years, and we finally snagged a reservation this year. The service was wonderful, and every bite - literally, from start to finish - was delightful and inventive. Highly recommend.
  • Lure is right near South Beach. We went in for a drink and some Parmesan fries after our Edgartown house tour (which was to die for!). Great spot for a fun drink (but don't pop in in your beach garb!). 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

End of Summer Feast Menu Options

Peter goes back to school just after Labor Day this year. That means its time for him to pick his end of summer feast menu! This will be the first big meal I cook in our new house (we've moving next Friday - eeks!). I'm really excited to have an excuse to make something fancy to celebrate the new school year.

Okay, my dear, here are a few menu choices for you:



What would you pick?! Is anybody else making a celebration dinner at home soon?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New House: Upstairs

This is the last post of our "before" house tour. I'll show the backyard and deck later, I promise :) But since work has already begun, I want to get these posted so I can start sharing some of our progress! Above it our upstairs bathroom. It's actually very roomy, especially for our area - I believe it's 10 x 12. I want to have the yellow tile refinished, and we'll of course be replacing the lovely faux Italian marble vanity. We're thinking of moving the laundry up here, either where the vanity is, or in the closet next to the bathtub.

The doll room: this was actually how the room was set up for the showings! The closed off, non-functioning chimney is to the left of the door, which we hope to take out soon. This room shares a wall with an itty bitty room next door. We're planning on taking out the wall to make it a (slightly) bigger master. Across the hall is a very narrow room with contact paper as wall paper (my picture was too dark - you'll be able to see it in a later post, promise).

The plan for the narrow room is to lose a big chunk of the hall way to make the bedroom wider, and expand the closets. This sounds like a lot of work, but our contractor swears it's not actually that bad.

By the tone of these house posts, I imagine that I might have given the impression that we're planning on doing all this stuff right away, and that's not at all the case! I'm sure our ideas will change and evolve over time, and we're planning on working on major (and minor!) house stuff for the next few years, at least. I'm just spilling out all of our initial ideas to give you an idea of what we're thinking, and what we're working with in this funky little house. I'm excited to share a few updates very soon!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend in Maine

Ages ago (three weeks, actually, which in summertime, is ages), we went to Maine for the weekend. Peter's family rents a house in Ocean Park, and we stopped in Portland for the day because we love it so. 

I would like my front steps to look exactly like this, please.

Ashley raved about Eventide on her blog, so we popped in for a lunch. We had very briny oysters (the best!), homemade potato chips, an amazing fried mussels salad, and some kind of crudo special. Highly recommend.

I shopped around a bit while Peter got a beer, and we popped into Mt. Desert for ice cream on our way out. Peter wanted Thai chili basil or something like that, but my delicate sensibilities couldn't handle the spice. We had bay of figs instead, it was glorious.

P.S. We just got back from two week in Martha's Vineyard, so I'm going to be sharing lots of pictures! And! Lots of house updates!!! You've been warned :)
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