Friday, June 29, 2012

The "Audi Fridge", The "Twins" and Grass...

Since I spoke so much about it on my last post I thought it best to show you why it is the Audi Fridge... Why Audi, I don't know - it's just something we made up.

I always wanted "twins"

Doo-doo-do-do!  Dingle doo-doo-doo!

I went over first thing this morning to water the grass as it was deemed that today would be blazin'.  And considering that we haven't really done any watering yet (I know, tisk tisk), I thought today would be a good day to start.  From my experience today I discovered that we have a heavy clay type soil and the water pressure is decent but not enough to cover the most area when watering the grass.  Oh, and it was hot today.  Did I mention it was hot?  Here's what the grass is looking like right now in the back yard.  I forgot to photo the front... it's a little more pitiful.  Frankly, I'm worried about the little sprouts.  May have to ask for wisdom from the lawn-gods... whoever they might be.


and here's Honza - because he's so cute... he's been feeling neglected lately.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Finally Feeling Like Home

Today as the refrigerator, washer and dryer were being delivered and "installed" I began to feel like this house I've spent a lot of time in this week wasn't just a domicile but also a home.  "The beast" protrudes well beyond our countertop and barely squeezed into the space even though we measured.  It is huge compared to what we are used to and has presence in our kitchen.  However, I don't care.  We got a really good deal on this Kitchen Aid at around $700 off the original price because it was a floor model.  And, it's an "Audi" fridge.  When you open it, the sound of an operatic soprano sings a nice tune as the LED lights slowly light up bright!  The front has these cool digital push-button thingys to regulate temperature, choose your ice preference or simply program exactly how much water you want to get out.  Yes, I can tell it to give me .25 litres and it does it.  I am excited about this needless to say.


The washer and dryer also arrived today.  Just your basic Samsung front loaders.  But they are high-efficiency and very quiet.  It also plays a song for you when the cycle is finished - this time I'm not making it up.  It really plays a song.  Quite nice actually when you are upstairs doing stuff.  All of a sudden this lovely little tune begins to play and voila, clean clothes!

This whole week I have been slowly painting the master bedroom and bathroom the color "Lambswool" which is a Valspar color.  However we use Behr paint, apparently it's better.  Even drove over the mountain for it.  Anyway, the color has turned out so well and I am ready to paint the whole house "Lambswool".  Even the name is warm and fuzzy.  Aside from some minor touch-ups on the ceiling (where I rolled it by accident) and the trim it is finished!  The bedroom that is.  I need a partner for the bathroom to make sure I don't break myself by falling.  There are some hard-to-reach places where I can't fit my ladder.  Here is the finished bedroom.  I can't wait to get the furniture in there on Tuesday!

I am very happy with the results.  This week's sore arms and back are worth it!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nice Neighbors Are Wonderful!

We finally closed on Friday, June 15th (last week) after a long and drawn-out process.  Everyone kept asking if we were excited and I could only think to myself "not until the keys are in my hand and I can relax". The closing happened at 4pm on a Friday so we didn't actually get the keys until Monday afternoon.  Not a big deal and probably just as well because of how drained we felt after it was all said and done.  Last weekend I had the same feeling as the day after I got married.  Hit by a truck, unable to think straight and  exhausted, and with that... relief.  It wasn't even the signing the papers bit, it was just be done with it and move on.

Monday after I finished working I rushed around to get together a little date for Al and I in our new house.  I picked up the keys to the house and went to Barnes and Nobles for a couple of gardening books for Al.  I went by and picked up some Chinese take-out and a six-pack of beer for our "romantic dinner".  All set and ready to pick up Al and he ended up having to work late - like, an hour extra.

We finally arrived at the house and Al says to me "now, don't forget your keys!" (as I did two days earlier), so in seeing him holding my handbag open, I drop the car keys in my purse.  I instinctively locked the car "manually" and we both got out and shut the doors.  What I didn't know was that my handbag was put in the back seat.  Keys, mobiles and our sanity locked inside the car.  We had the house keys and dinner but no beer... yes, NO BEER!!! and no way to really contact anyone.  Well, great.

It must've been our lucky day because our across-the-street neighbors were on their porch.  We walked over introduced ourselves and explained our predicament.  They couldn't have been nicer and more hospitable!  Our neighbor immediately called AAA and ordered a guy to come out.  Unfortunately, it took 2 hours - Fortunately, we met our lovely neighbor and had some time to get to know her!  So, there we were the first night in someone else's "new" home, eating our Chinese on their coffee table, with no beer.  Did I mention we were really looking forward to the beer?  What could have been a disaster turned out ok, and although my little plan didn't work out the way it did in my head, there are worse things that could have happened, right?

Step 1: Getting Started with Paint

Step 1:  Picking out the paint color.  Wow, could there be more shades of tan or brown?  or blue?  or white?  After many hours of deliberation we decided to go with a Valspar color - "Lambswool" over Behr's "Barcelona Beige" in the Master Bedroom and Bath.  In following the advice of my DIY Guru (my Dad), I had Home Depot match the color using Behr paint.  I think it's a very nice warm color that will match with all of my various quilts, none of which really follow the same color scheme.  The house has already been painted a two-toned off-white walls and white-white trim but I don't think it has enough pizazz.  

This picture was the only one I could find that used the actual "lambswool" shade, but you get the point.  It's going to look really nice with a bright-white trim and outlet covers.  

We set out early this morning to Home Depot over the mountain to get paint and have breakies at Cracker Barrel before having to take Al to work.  Several more minutes of talking in circles and we had our paint.  

My task today was to remove all outlet covers, tape up the necessary spots around the bedroom and bath and begin painting around the outlets, corners and trim.  What I didn't know was that my Ipod had no battery power.  Three hours later and I was done.  I think that painting is not a job that I want to do when I'm sleepy.  Sleepy = Sloppy when it comes to the way my body works.  Anyway, tomorrow is another day - and Al will be there to help and keep me company!

The upstairs bath will be painted blue...

I'm very excited about this one!

Also, this 90 degree temperature is killing our grass!  The poor little sprouts are dark brown.  I am thinking we've got to start budgeting to get that taken care of in the fall when it's not so hot.  Either that, or we'll have to water like crazy.  For now, I'll focus on the paint - may not be smart to plant new seed until it cools off a bit!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This is Just the Beginning!

So, here it is.  The blog about Al and I and our adventure into the world of homeownership.  Scary, I know.  But, it is the realization of something that has been on our minds since we knew we were destined for each other.  A constant theme in our relationship is the inability to be in the present.  Always thinking ahead to the future.  When we decided to get married it was "what will we do for our wedding", after we married it was "where do we move next", after we moved across the Atlantic it was "when we get a house...", and now that we are almost at the end of the house-buying process it is "what will we do with the house and property".  Another common theme is our polar opposite tastes and opinions.  How we ever agree on anything is beyond me!  We actually agree on quite a bit, but there is a negotiation of sorts before any final decisions are made.  Our house had everything we both wanted (except a whirpool or garden tub in the master bath, but that isn't a deal breaker).

So, where are we in the process?  I will spare you all the stressful back and forth that is necessary for getting to this point.  The constant raising of hopes, just for someone on the other side to dash those hopes.  What does one do?  You just adapt and adjust as quickly as possible and stay focused on that dream house!  We were due to close at the end of May, but now our closing has been tentatively moved to June 15th.  Aside from extending the rate lock and closing in the middle of the month (both mean more out-of-pocket), we won't owe a mortgage payment until August, and considering that our lease doesn't end until the end of July, that helps a little.  Then again, we owe that much more out-of-pocket because of the rate thing and closing mid-month.  Geez, you just can't win - even in this market.

You must be wondering where we are moving.  Well, another constant theme in our relationship is the back and forth opinion on city-life versus country-life.  I was raised in a suburb/city, Al on a small island with no trees, but we spent our time before C'ville in Prague - a city with 1.3 million people.  C'ville is small-town in comparison and it has taken us 3 years to be comfortable with the idea of staying here long term.  Our future house is about 15 miles into the country from where we live now.  It's a beautiful straight drive through horse-country.  The house itself sits on 1.5 acres and is brand new.  It's in a "neighborhood" of 8 lots (all are occupied now), each with just as much or more land as we will have.  All the houses are the same model, but spread out sufficiently not to notice so much.  The land gives us plenty of room to set up a significant garden, to landscape as we wish, and to have a front lawn.  The inside of the house is perfect and aside from adding some color here and there, there is nothing that needs to change.  We have a lot of work to do!  Stay posted to our adventure as I try to survive in the country, and Al is brought back to his roots!