Friday, April 29, 2005

Our Dirt Pile



Today the Dirt Pile people came out and dumped our mulch/top soil mix into the driveway. This is our pile of dirt. We will be hauling this pile of dirt into the backyard to fill in the soil that has washed into the back of our yard. Of course, the weatherpeople say that it will rain all day tomorrow, so you'll probably see us on CNN trying to save our house from the mudslide that will ensue from the giant mound of dirt.

We bought a wheelbarrow the other day. We already have one, but felt that two would be good to have (you can never have too many wheelbarrows). The wheelbarrow (unlike the first one we bought) came in pieces. There were boxes that you had to choose from, depending on what sized wheelbarrow you bought. Of course, we grabbed the wrong box, so the parts fit a much LARGER wheelbarrow. Back to Lowes we go, and I'm hoping that if I act helpless enough (hey, the large sore on the corner of my mouth may at least scare them enough) they will put one together for us.

I've moved my computers out of the downstairs computer room and into the nook. Of course, all I did was move them to another room, but Microsoft's networking got confused and couldn't figure out what happened. I had to reboot the router and modem before it recognized that I was still here... just in a different room. I hate microsoft, just in case you hadn't noticed. Now I'm sitting at my new computer table (a real computer table, not a fold up table posing as a computer table), and hopefully this weekend, while its raining, or while we're recovering from hauling dirt all over the place, we'll move the server into the computer room, and I'll have a real living room once again.

Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The $200 Garbage Can


The $200 Garbage Can

We went a little nuts yesterday.

We kept expecting Amex to call us and say "ok, you've gone insane, and you must stop".
Our first trip was to take Meeshka to the vet for her annual shots, which is always expensive. Then we measured the kitchen and took off for Ikea. Hubby was not a big Ikea fan, but then he started coming around to the wonders of Ikea when he noticed how nice some of the furniture is, and you just can't beat the price. So he started saying "we can get this until we can afford nicer furniture"... riiight.

So, we went to Ikea to get a kitchen table and chairs, because for 11 years in this house, we had a kitchen table (that the dogs peed on), but no chairs. For 11 years we ate, scrunched over the coffee table downstairs, while the dogs did their best to steal our food. It was not a pleasant eating experience. We also went to get me a computer desk, since I've been stuck at a fold up church table desk for 11 years, and wanted to move up to a real desk, up in the nook. There are more reasons, but I won't go into that now.

Hubby had seen some modular kitchen furniture, complete with wine racks, and he decided that we needed those (and we did), so we decided while we were there... why not. So we picked out the units we needed, and loaded two carts worth of junk. I won't go into the idiot that made his mother stand in the loading area, then nearly ran into hubby and his mother to get to the spot (morons).

Came home, and dragged everything in before the major thunderstorm, and spent hours putting everything together. The dogs were very helpful, of course. Tons of space on the shelves, and we realized that we'd only need (for now) one more shelf to get rid of the crappy plastic shelf, so... back to Ikea we go today.

We also realized that we had no place left for a trash container, or dog food bins, so off we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond (that evil succubus of household items), and ended up getting a table cloth, place settings (gee, if only we had the gingerbread man era stuff now), plastic glassware (a neccesity with huskies), rugs for the dogs (who can't eat without standing on a rug for some reason), and THE TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR TRASH CONTAINER.

It's a simplehuman brand (simplehuman is aptly named, because only a simple human would pay $200 for a trash container), with a pedal that opens two doors. But it was what we wanted, it would fit in the space we had... so we got it, after swallowing our tongues and gagging. Stopped off at the petstore for stackable dog food containers, then home to assemble our new "look".

We discovered that we need more rugs for the dogs, as they are too bunched up and ate their food like pretzels, so back to BB&B tomorrow for more rugs. Still have to put the computer table together, but by the time we got home, the Amex was smoking and we were exhausted.

We waved something simple to eat and sat at the table. The dogs were totally confused as to why we were eating on this tall thing that they couldn't reach, so they sat, dejected near the table. What a feeling, to be able to eat without fighting dogs off for my food.

I feel almost human now... a simple human, with my really cool, totally unbelievable, handy dandy $200 trash can.
Posted by Hello

This is our "new" kitchen Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Refinancing

Since our house went up in price, along with our taxes, we decided to use that equity to refinance, pay off our credit card debt (that we've been trying to pay off for 17 years), put a new deck on the house (one that we weren't fearful of our lives the moment we stepped on it), and do some things to the house, like finally buy some furniture to sit on.

We started the process 6 years ago... ok, a month ago, but in stress time it seems like 6 years. The hoops you have to jump through in order to get money from your house is amazing. Papers you have to submit to prove that you are worthy of a loan (we need the money, therefore we can't get a loan, but if you don't need the money, they literally shovel money on you theory), then there's the phone calls:

1.) Oh, we need to have your house appraised, because even though the state of Maryland thinks that your house is worth a gazillion dollars, it may not be. (it was)

.) The last time you refinanced, well, that payoff never got recorded, would you happen to have a small slip of paper that says it was paid off that you were sent 3 years ago? (we dug it up).

.) Since your house is worth a gazillion dollars, we'll need you to up your insurance (which we did, but then the computer ate our policy, it was a whole fiasco).

.) I know you said you were making this much, but your stubs only say this much, so we'll need to know how much money you're worth should you croak suddenly. (401K paperwork sent).

It's been a roller coaster of fun. But we finally have a close date and time to sign the paperwork, barring any stupid things happening, a mere 6 days away and I'll get to tell all of our credit card people to shove their disability insurance fees up their ass, don't even call me again, bite me. I can't wait for that.

In 7 days I'll call the deck people and we'll start the stress of having the super mondo huge, sturdy, within county ordinance deck put up, buy a grill, lounge on the new deck in style. I can't wait. Before that happens we have to get fill dirt/mulch, topsoil dumped into the back yard to fix the slope that has made our yard into a waterfall, plant some grass (there's a miracle, what with the dogs), and do a zillion other things to get ready for grill fest 2005.