Category Archives: House Stuff

Prepping to Paint

It figures that I had just shut down my netbook when I realized I hadn’t posted yet today. Thank goodness for the WordPress iPhone app! This is going to be short and sweet because I still need to sand and maybe tape for painting tomorrow.

At the end of this post I’m including a couple of iPhone photos of what Mom and I have to deal with to paint my master bedroom. This room is on a bit of a tighter schedule than the rest because my mattress set is being delivered Wednesday, and we’d rather not work around it. Also, I really want to move my cats, so I want one room that’s mostly done I can close them in when necessary. Not that I’ve figured out yet where to put their litter box.

The first photo shows the curtains in the living room; there are smaller versions of the same thing in both bedrooms. The hardware necessary to keep these things up is quite firmly attached to the wall. It took Mom the better part of the afternoon to get it all out, while I dealt with the other problem, the wallpaper border that was up. It came down easily enough, but the room was painted cream after it went up, so there were ridges of paint I had to sand down (Mom figured out something easier after I had done two walls). I’m very glad that’s the only room with a border. The curtain hardware is more than enough to handle.

The second photo shows the rose pink paint that was under the border. I also enjoy how the curtains weren’t taken down when the cream paint was done, so there’s been extra pink paint hiding behind the valence for who knows how long.

Bolder Colors Than Expected

Tonight I am sitting at my dining room table. Yay! Also, it was heavier than I expected, but Mom and I persevered in getting it up my stairs.

It’s interesting all the things you don’t notice even if you’ve seen your prospective home numerous times before closing. For instance, while the carpet is pretty soft, it’s way more discolored than I thought. I’m starting to think, though, that it’s not beige carpet with weird peach staining, but peach carpet that has faded in a lot of places to beige. This is just one of a whole bunch of things that I thought I’d wait quite a while before updating or replacing that are moving up on the timeline.

The big event today was buying quart-size containers of the paint colors I had chosen so I could put some on the walls before buying full gallons. I’ve been mulling over colors for ages, and I still don’t know what I’m doing in the dining room, entryway, staircase wall/landing, or bathroom, and Mom wants to try something in my second bedroom so she’s in charge of that.

[Note: The colors aren’t completely true because (1) these are taken with my iPhone, and (2) the lighting isn’t very good in most of the rooms.]

The color I chose for the master bedroom is a pretty typical color for me. Something calm and pretty, and it coordinates with a bedspread I bought a few years ago but have never used.

Choosing a color for the living room was challenging because I ended up buying sort of caramel-colored leather sofas. I certainly couldn’t go with my original thought of a light silvery grey. I started thinking about blue, and found a couple on one paint chip that I really liked. First, the one that I’m not going with:

It was just too dark, and I suspected that might be the case, but I wanted to try it. I love the color, though, and will use it for something eventually. The color I am going with:

The kitchen is where I’m really reaching outside of my comfort zone. I bought the following canister and a coordinating oil dispenser a few years ago, and used them as the inspiration.

It appears it’s going to need a couple of coats, but it’s pretty much what I’ve been thinking for a while.

In other news, I actually did a little knitting this evening. I was at my parents’ for dinner and to watch The Amazing Race, and decided to cast on the bath mat I got yarn and the pattern for a few days ago.  My NaKnitMo total is currently at 4,810/30,000 stitches, so a little behind a 1,000/day average, but by a week or so from now, I should be more on my regular schedule of knitting with TV for part of most evenings and be able to get back where I want to be.

Moving In, Day One

As I was typing the title, I just realized I’ve had my netbook connected to Sprint via its mobile broadband card for a few hours now. I typically use it very sporadically, so I have no idea how much time I can actually get per month out of my plan. Hmm. In any case, I’m glad to have it so I don’t have to rely just on my iPhone at my new home. Comcast is scheduled for Thursday.

This morning I woke up way earlier than I expected and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I started pulling things together that had to wait until I was really ready to move, like clothes and toiletries. It was basically what I had been planning for today, but I because I could get in earlier than I thought I would be able to, I decided I really wanted to get enough stuff taken over so I could actually stay overnight. My parents and I also loaded up basically everything else that was ready to go, mostly kitchen stuff and food. I ended up calling a friend to see if she might be available for a little while to help unload stuff. She was willing and able — thanks so much, Julie! She was also a great help when I dragged her to Target, where I ended up buying quite a bit of household stuff (also part of my plan for today, before I knew my day would have more to do).

While we were unloading and at Target, my parents started pulling nails and spackling. They’ll be back over tomorrow to help with that, and I’ll go get some paint samples to see if my choices for the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom are as good as I think they are.

I went back to my parents’ for dinner, then Mom and I returned to the condo  to clean the cabinet shelves and drawers in the kitchen, bathroom, and hall closet so I could start putting away dishes, food, and towels. I still have more stuff to put away in the kitchen tomorrow morning, then I can take the pictures I meant to take with the place empty. There will be a few things on the kitchen counters (microwave, electric kettle), but the place is empty furniture-wise, except for my dining room chairs (I realized it would be nice to have a place to sit now and then even though we didn’t bring the table yet) and an airbed.

Something I’m probably going to want to do soon is see about getting new handles and seals for the refrigerator. The ones for the refrigerator part are particularly not fabulous, but the freezer’s aren’t perfect either. The insides are pretty nice, though, and I love how the shelves in the refrigerator are split in half, and all of the shelves are adjustable vertically.

Ah, the ups and downs of homeownership. I’m sure this is just a sliver of what’s to come.

My First Day of Homeownership

I’m not sure what about today was so exhausting, but it wasn’t even 10 PM and I was seriously thinking about turning in until I remembered I need to at least post a little something for NaBloPoMo.

I had to be at my credit union bright and early to get a cashier’s check, then headed to Edina for my 10 AM closing. I had no idea how the 35W/Crosstown thing was going to go, but it was fine, and I was there about a half hour early. Apparently there’s a turkey who hangs out there. I had to wonder if turkeys were some sort of omen. Especially in November.

The closing itself went fine. The seller did her part earlier that morning, but her agent was there to finish the paperwork and give me keys and some info I’d need. Just like everyone warned me, there were approximately a zillion things to sign.

Mom took me to the nearby Cheesecake Factory for lunch, which was delicious as always.

Then we went home. Mom headed to work for a little while and I was planning to pack up a few things I want to take over to the condo this weekend, but since the seller wasn’t scheduled to be moved out until tomorrow, I wasn’t very inspired and realized I was really tired. So I took a nap with my cats, and got up when I had a call from the seller’s agent that the seller had managed to get everything out today after all. Surprise! Right up until then this whole thing was still kind of an abstract idea, but after learning I could actually really take possession, it started to feel real. Finally.

There wasn’t time to go over then, since my parents and I had dinner and errands, but we stopped by before heading back to their house. The first thing I’m going to need to figure out tomorrow is what happened with the entryway light, because the bulb and globe were on the floor, and the stairs are pretty dark without them where they belong. That concerned me a little about what the rest of the place was going to be like, but it was fine. There aren’t ceiling lights in the living room or bedrooms (of course I knew this, but had forgotten what that would mean going over at night), so I’m going to have to take over some lamps soon.

Mom and I finally remembered to look to see what’s under the carpet in the bathroom, and it’s some sort of linoleum or tile, so for now I think we’re just going to pull up the carpet and see if what’s there will work at least until I can decide what I’m going to do for decorating in there.

Tomorrow Mom and I will start taking stuff over and spackling. I’ve never done any of this kind of stuff (yet, I’ve worked on putting shingles on a roof — go figure), but it’s probably about time I learn. I have to see if I can decide on some paint colors so I can proceed with putting some samples on the wall so I can start painting yet this weekend.

I promise I’ll take and start posting some photos!

I Should Be Packing

This morning I did some packing, taking all the stuff I had in my parents’ kitchen cabinets out while Mom packed the stuff up. I had two bottles of wine I had completely forgotten about in there. I have a feeling that I’m going to have a lot of little discoveries like that. Hey, look! I have an espresso machine!

This afternoon and this evening we went through a bunch of household goods that have been stored in my parents’ basement. I still don’t know where my plates, bowls, or silverware are, but wow, I have a lot of Pampered Chef products. I was a consultant for PC for a couple of years in the late 90s, and I accumulated quite a bit in that short time. I have more stoneware than you can shake a stick at.

If I can wrangle up enough boxes, I’m hoping to work on boxing up mystery books tomorrow evening. They’re currently in two bookcases, most in one that’s pretty large, with the overflow in a smaller one. I’d like to repurpose the smaller one to house my sci-fi/fantasy books, which currently don’t have a home at all, though I don’t think they’ll all fit. However, I’m weeding out certain books as I go if I can get them on Kindle instead, so that should help all around. And, I’d certainly love to have the books I’m keeping ready for when I’ll have some help moving them.

The total stitches for my NaKnitMo practice day was 2,697, despite having to frog about 500 stitches. I’m making a circle blanket that has an increase round followed by four rounds of straight knitting, but I did the increase round a round early. Whoops. I took it out, did the row properly, and then did the increase row in the first real hour of NaKnitMo.

Throughout the day today I was able to fit in another four rounds on the blanket, so my total for today is 2,520. Below are a couple of photos, one from the top view, and another from the side. Right now it’s all squooshy on the needles, but when it grows up, it’ll be blocked and stretched out to a nice, large circle.



I think this is going to look fabulous hanging out on one of my new sofas. (I ordered two because it was only $20 more to get a second sofa instead of a loveseat, but I can switch if the second one doesn’t fit well.) And yes, power recliners on both sides. I can’t wait to sit and knit there!


Just to talk about something other than my move or knitting, I’m currently reading Busted Flush, edited by George R.R. Martin. I learned about the first book of what is at least a trilogy (the third is due out this winter) within the Wild Cards universe because a friend of mine from high school is one of the authors. If you’re curious about how I tracked down that friend or about the books, I wrote about it here.

A Busy November Ahead

Because buying a home and moving isn’t going to be enough to do for the next few weeks, I decided to add a couple of other challenges. The first shouldn’t be too difficult, especially since it involves knitting, but the second is a little trickier.

But first, an update on the condo. I was supposed to close yesterday, but found out a few days ago that it was going to be delayed, probably about a week (I was first told “at least a week,” but the next day it was downgraded to “at most a week”). It was very disappointing, but I’m over that, and just hope it all works out well. At the moment I still don’t know what day it’ll be, but probably Thursday or Friday.

The first additional challenge is NaKnitMo (Ravelry link). Someone posted about it in one of my other Ravelry groups, and I couldn’t help but be intrigued. The basic idea is to knit 30,000 stitches during the month of November, which at first seemed like a huge number. However, I’ve been keeping track of my stitches yesterday and today. Without any special effort, I knitted a bit more than 1,300 yesterday, and so far today I’ve completed nearly 1,800. So even with moving and all that entails, 30,000 stitches, or an average of 1,000 a day, is looking very manageable.

The second challenge directly affects this blog, as I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo. I’ve never been very good about posting regularly, but during a time when I actually have things going on that I can write about seems as good a time as any to attempt to develop the habit. And it’s not like I’m trying to write a novel or anything.

Speaking of those things going on, I should try to do a little packing this evening. I should at least put away the yarn I bought this afternoon. What a Saturday night!

Next Step (Technically): Closing

The condo-buying things went so fast for a while there, and now pretty much all I’m looking at is the closing on October 30. Just 38 days!

My agent and I got together on Friday, September 4, to fill out the purchase agreement, and my offer was accepted two days later after very little  negotiating that really only changed the closing date.

The inspection went well: there were a couple of minor electrical things that the inspector suggested should be done (the seller is actually taking care of these, though I didn’t request that, so — bonus!) and the furnace is original and 25 years old, so it’ll be the first major thing I’ll need to deal with at some point.

I’ve gotten a couple of batches of homeowners’ association papers, and after getting the second batch this morning I chatted with my insurance agent to see what I’m looking at for the cost of my personal property and liability insurance (not too bad — less than twice what I’m paying for renter’s now, and that includes adding extra coverage related to my in-home business).

So really, the next major thing for the actual purchase of the condo is the closing. Woohoo!

But in reality, besides getting started with packing, I’ve been looking at lots of furniture options, particularly for the living room. I want to have enough seating for a group of friends to talk or watch a movie or sporting event, but my original plan didn’t really accomplish that without using dining room chairs (my chairs are fine, but I wouldn’t want to watch a whole movie sitting in one, so I don’t want anyone else to have to either). So I’m looking around a bit to see how I can still get the power rocker recliner I’ve been drooling over (ideally I’d like a pair of them with a center console thingy) and have room for at least another loveseat. At this point the best option involves changing where I had planned to put the TV so I wouldn’t be able to see it from the kitchen, which might not be the worst thing.

I’m starting to think about paint colors, too. Mostly I just have to decide what I like. A little color? A lot of color? Neutrals? What I need to do is start paying attention to pictures of rooms and that sort of thing and go through the Sherwin-Williams paint chip collection my mom has.