Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting to know you 2

It's been a week in the new house - so far, so good. We are getting used to the creaks and moans of the floor boards - note to self: future project in the living room - and the sounds the furnace makes when it kicks on. When we remember to turn up the heat. I've tackled just a tiny bit of gardening with my parents last weekend and this morning I surveyed the land for the amount of leaves I'll have to rake. Result: a lot.

Some things I've learned:
1. The most useful and underrated spaces in a house are the basement, the garage, and the attic. "Where should I put our suitcases?" "The attic." "Where are we going to keep the Christmas ornaments?" "The basement." Etc. It's easy.
2. Home Depot is awesome.
3. Do not wear heels to Home Depot.
4. When the leaves begin to fall from the trees around your house, curtains become essential.
5. There is always one closet in a house or apartment that never loses that weird homeless man smell that old cabinets can have.
6. Hanging your coats in that closet is not very smart.
7. Turn on the water before attempting to use the washing machine. DUH!
8. If you didn't turn on the water, don't be stupid and tell people about it. The heels at Home Depot already made you look stupid enough and your ego can only take so much.
9. Mums need to get watered. Just because you leave the nice pot outside of your front door, doesn't mean mother nature will take care of it.
10. It's nice to look out the bedroom window in the morning at my own yard, my own trees, and my own lawn.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Getting to know you

So, for the past couple of days I've been getting to know our new house. When we first looked at it with our realtor, it had pale yellow/tan walls, sea shells on the wall, and lots of spiritual or self-help signs like "take it easy" and "live for today." It was a pretty cute house. So we bought it.

Once the seller moved out, and all of her belongings were gone, the house suddenly became sort of dreary and bland. I was and still am worried that it will be hard to warm up to it. So I've been trying to spend some time there, walk around, touch the walls, get to know the house.

I've found many unexpected "gifts" during this process. There is a hummingbird feeder hidden among some bushes in the yard. There is an ornate cross nailed to one of our trees where it looks like lightening might have struck at some point. In one of the bushes by our porch, I've found a small garden gnome. There are a couple of frog statuettes hiding under some leaves by our front door.

All of these discoveries are great and surprising, but also fill me with concern. Is the house hiding weird, unpleasant stuff too? I guess only time will tell.

My other adventure with the house has been the guy, Jeff, who is painting it. He is one of Drew's friends, a general contractor who is giving us a huge price break on the paint job. Much appreciated!

He's been working with another guy, who lives in a cottage on Jeff's property. He is a disabled Vietnam vet who has some "issues," according to Jeff, so he took him in and is giving him work. "It's good karma," I told Jeff, "to help out someone like that." He agreed then continued to tell me that his friend is an excellent musician and that they often sit and write music together.

Now, I don't know Jeff well, but what I know about him are the following: He is an excellent craftsman, he writes and draws political cartoons for Drew's newspaper, and apparently he also writes music and sings. "You are a real renaissance man," I told him. He laughed. It was somehow comforting. Maybe his good karma will transfer to the house through the paint brush.