Monday, March 12, 2012

Week Three: Less Boxy

We’re now in Week Three of living in our new home, and things couldn’t be better.

Well, of course they could be better, but to say things are going poorly would be exaggerating. Things are going well, though not at the speed we’d once hoped.

The basement is still very boxy, as is the front room upstairs. The bedrooms, for the most part, are box-free, especially since I helped the kids (Isaac excepted) empty some of their boxes Friday while they were home from school. Liam just needed some gentle prodding and the hauling of his LEGO desk to his room to get a few more things unboxed. Lexie needed more help, including cleaning up her floor before any boxes could be opened. I did cheat a little and empty the contents of a few boxes into piles when she wasn’t looking, because she was in “clean up piles” mode. She’s still got a hefty portion of boxes in her room, but fewer than before.

The basement, of course, is filled with stuff. I did get some bookshelves put up, and that’s helped some, though the quantity of book boxes in the basement has only decreased marginally. Michelle has also done quite a bit of work in her craft room, but both of us are now being hindered by a general lack of shelves. I’m going to put up some more shelving in her craft room and in the study this weekend, which should help the situation improve a bit. Then we’re on to shelving in the living room, but that’s on hold for a bit as we try to figure out if we can afford to have a gas furnace put in this year.

Speaking of gas, we have had one bid come in – at just under $12,000 – from one contractor. Had another contractor in last Friday, and he’s supposed to give us a bid this week. Hopefully, it’s good news. I think Michelle is over the sticker shock a bit, and that’s helpful. I had an inkling it would be expensive, and frankly, if this second bid is in the neighborhood, they’re actually coming in about $8,000 less than I’d expected. Still expensive, but not massively so, seeing as we have about $8,000 on hand we can put into a system right away. So crossing my fingers for Friday – though the costs we’re seeing don’t include replacing drywall, plaster, and paint, work which I’d do myself, if I can match the unique plastering jobs in this house. Hoping that’s to a minimum, at least on the complicated walls. We’ll see.

Other items of note:

• I have thusfar replaced one deadbolt and three exterior doorknobs, owing to wear and the fact that we got only one key to the front door and don’t know who might have the others.
• One of the glass panels on our fireplace shattered a week ago. Will have to get that replaced.
• We have a lot of worn outlets in the house that just won’t hold a cord in any more. Step on the cord and it pops right out of the wall. Replaced four last night – by the light of a setting sun and flashlights held by young children who were as interested in making hand puppets with the light as they were helping daddy.
• Noticed that the stuff – folders, mostly – that wandered home from work were taking up too much space, so I brought them all back to work where they can take up space but not in my personal study so I’m not as stressed out about it.
• Convinced the kids to pillage the art supplies box (paper, crayons, etc) that had been in the study to take to their individual rooms. Threw a LOT of stuff away. Felt great. Also started a box of stuff that none of the kids want to have in their own rooms, for potential delivery to the nieces and nephews or the thrift store.
• Broke down another massive pile of cardboard boxes and hauled them out to the garage. Hoping to make another trip to the recyclers Saturday, after we’ve had another day of emptying boxes.
• Thought I’d done a great job of alphabetizing my books until I found another full box of books for the Cs. Charles Dickens, who had been on the top shelf, has now worked his way to the second shelf, closer to the end rather than the beginning.
• We’ve identified the Taylor of Matchpoint Drive, a little three-year-old boy named Dyer, who came to our house three times in three days looking for someone to play with. No sign of the parents. We don’t even really know where he lives. Cute kid, though.
• Michelle and I took a walk through our neighborhood on Friday. An interesting mix of single-family houses to duplexes to apartment complexes, the further south we go. We can get to two big box stores on foot in about fifteen minutes. Kinda weird, that.

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