Monday, June 30, 2008

boo hoo?

Today is my husband's last day of vacation. He took an obscene amount of time off for the move because he had the vacation time and needed to use it up or it would expire. It has been great to have him around but it has also made me rather lazy in getting a routine going at our new house. It will be good I think to get back to whatever normal is.

The sellers of the house have basically ignored our request that they help fix the water damage that happened when they owned the house. After much discussion we decided not to pursue them (although I am seriously tempted to find their new address and toilet paper their yard). Thanks to our aggressive use of a dehumidifier the paneling has dewarped, un warped whatever you call it. My husband pulled one of the panels off where the water cam in the most and did not see any mold. We are toying with replacing the carpet with a berber (which would have the added benefit of not producing the carpet fuss that Evan so dearly loves) and the cost of that would be more than the actual cost of replacing the cheap carpet that was put in. It is just not worth the time and effort to get them to do the right thing.

We have had several storms, none as bad as the one that caused our basement to leak but so far (knock on wood) the dirt work seems to have kept any flooding at bay. It just puzzles me that they could spend the money to replace the carpet and paint the interiors of the house and update the light fixtures but they could not spend a couple hundred dollars to put some compacted dirt around the house. Some people just have no house sense, but then that worked to our advantage because we got the house a lot cheaper than it probably could have sold for had the seller done more of the right sorts of projects.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Cuteness

Evan is a funny child that will often burst out with random sayings that have nothing to do with the topic of conversation. His latest gem is "Don't eat black spiders!" That is very wise advice for anyone. I would suggest that we should avoid the eating of any color of spider, but if you are feeling adventurous stick with the non black ones.

Here is a starving Harry eagerly watching his dinner baking in the oven.

Proof that he was not adopted. My husband's family is enamored of olives and whenever they are bought out at a family gathering they are inhaled super fast. Harry loves olives!

Here is a picture of the cheeky bunny that visits our yard on a regular basis. I think it loves all the clover we have in our yard because that is where it seems to mostly eat from.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Call me

I have a sneaking suspicion that AT&T has sold our number to some telemarketers. *grr* We have been receiving telemarketing calls almost from the moment that our number was connected. My husband and I have not been giving our number out freely since we have not yet managed to memorize it. We have to keep looking it up on my cell phone when we want to give it out to someone.

I also have the feeling that the number is cursed (aka they did not wait long enough before reissuing it). During the first few days we kept getting calls for another person, the same person every time. This has happened to us before and it was a pain in the bum. When we lived in San Diego we kept getting some guy from prison trying to get us to accept a collect call. He thought he was calling his girlfriend but I am pretty sure that she was not all that thrilled about him being in jail since she changed her number and didn't tell him. I was not about to accept a collect call just to apprise him of that fact so whenever that number showed up on the caller ID we let it go to our answering machine. It was a relief to move since the guy was pretty dense and never figured out that he was dumped and she wanted no further contact from him.

Another factor in the cursing is that we have also received an unusual number of wrong number calls. Just today I fielded a call from a guy that wanted to know if we stocked tapes for micro recorders. Sadly we did not have any in stock. I will have to remember to get some next time we are ordering.

Super dee duper

Yesterday I got to do something that I have not done in a long while. I went to a knitting group! Thanks to the internets I was able to scope out a local knitting group before we even moved. It was a fun event and I plan on going back. Non knitters might not get it but there is just something about getting together in a group and knitting. You get to ooh and ahh over what other people are knitting. You get to see (and pet) different yarns (they were very impressed with your handspun Tama). It can also be very entertaining just sitting back and listening to other people chat away. You enjoy the company of like minded people.

When I got home my husband asked me what we had done. I was rather taken aback by the question, after all it seemed pretty obvious to me that when one went to a knitting group one would expect to knit.

Speaking of groups of like minded people gathering... we now have the basement pretty whipped into shape. It seems such a shame to me that now that we own a house with plenty of room I don't have any of my friends from California to invite over. When I was there I could never have play group at my home, there just was not enough room for herds of kids to run around in. I always felt bad that I was never able to host. Maybe I can convince them to all make a trip to my house.... hmm....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why me?

One thing that I am finding that I really do not like about my new home is all the mosquitoes. If I want to do anything (and I mean anything, because the second I step outside in the cool parts of the day I am swarmed) in my garden I have to get the repellent out and coat myself in it. My poor legs seem especially tasty and are dotted in itchy bites. I woke myself up scratching last night and I am sure I will again tonight until the bites are healed. The crazy thing is that the boys do not even have a nibble on them and my husband only got one or two bites. I guess that I am mosquito prime rib. Here's to smelling like bug spray all summer!

We did it!

My husband and I finally purchased couches for our home. We went to every furniture store in the area and ended up going back to the first store and buying two matching sofas and a love seat. They are a little more fluffy than I would have picked out on my own, but they will not swallow you whole every time you sit down. They arrive on Saturday and I can't wait to sit in something besides camping chairs.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Finally pictures of the house!

People have been harassing me for these and I finally got my act together enough to take some pictures of the house. The ones that I took after our offer was accepted were so bad that I did not want to post them. I plan on taking interior pictures as we finish up our unpacking.

Unpacking has been slow due to the loss of motivation and the fact that we have to somehow scare up couches for our living room and family room. The ones we bought before we got married seven (yes seven, time sure flies and my anniversary just happened on the 15th) years ago were rather sad looking so we did not move them with us. The big hang up is that my husband prefers the man eating over stuffed couches and I prefer a slimmer more classic looking couch. It may take us some time to reconcile our differences. I think the only reason we were able to agree on a couch before was that we were not married and my husband was eager to please his wife to be.

Here is the front of the house. As you can see there is a very nice mature tree in the front. There is also a poor lonely maple that I feel may have been badly placed. The previous owners seemed to really like maple trees, there are two others that are rather young in the back yard. Apparently they are great for Kansas since they bend well with the heavy winds. In case you can't tell the house is a creamy yellow and a sage green, colors that I would have picked had I been picking the color the house paint.

The back of the house. Thrilling huh? My husband is itching to put a brick patio next to the steps.

Here is the side area of the back yard. There is a concrete pad there where we are planning on keeping the kiddy pool. I want to get some sort of shade there so that the kids to not burn in the sun.

Of all the things that were left behind this annoyed me the most but thrilled the kids the most. While they were in Utah they got a taste for trampoline jumping while at their cousin's house. I need to find some sort of step stool so that they can get up and down on their own. I know that we will not be moving it with us nor will we leave it for the renters (too much of a chance of injury and being sued). You can also see a very annoyingly placed maple tree. It is right near the power line to the house. One of the things I plan on doing before long is digging it up and moving it to a better place in the yard.

Here is a closeup of the dirt work we had done. We are trying to sprout grass on it but are being bad at remembering to keep it moist. If nothing sprouts soon I am going to get some sod to keep the rain from washing the dirt away.

If anyone can tell me what this plant is I would be very happy. I know I have some readers out there that are gardening nuts.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


You are all probably wondering what I think of my new home state. After all it is quite a change to move from a hip state like California to a rather backwards state (one that does not even have curbside recycling) like Kansas. There are sure a lot of differences!
  • The humidity (especially before a storm) is amazing. I thought that the part of California we had been living in was pretty moist, especially when compared to Utah, but man sometimes when I head outside I feel like I am walking into a pool.
  • The traffic is soo much better here. Rush hour is slightly heavy traffic on the freeway instead of three hours of bumper to bumper traffic.
  • The people are so much friendlier here. People working in stores have long involved conversations with you. People actually ask about your children and their ages instead of mostly ignoring them. One of my neighbors brought over some really yummy brownies. It is almost disconcerting to have strangers talking to me when I am out and about. I have to remember to do a real smile instead of the tight lipped half smile and brief nod that was so popular in California.
  • You don't get looked at strangely when you mention that you go to church. In fact there are churches all over the place and people are not shy about asking you about your church.
  • You see more people smoking. In California smokers were seen as social outcasts and misfits, here it seems to be more socially acceptable even if it is still very bad for your health.
  • There seems to be more wildlife here in the more settled parts of the city. We have a bunny that regularly visits our yard and there seem to always be a variety of birds eating bugs off our lawn. I even got to see fire flies for the very first time that I can remember.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Vicky wanted me to take a ton of pictures of our trip from Utah to Kansas and I am always happy to oblige. These are all taken at rest stops along the way. We drove both of our cars so I didn't have much of as chance to take pictures as I would have liked. Enjoy!

This is was our first stop. We are still in Utah going over the mountains into Wyoming. It was pretty chilly and windy. Evan was worried that he was going to fall and Harry was trying to look at all the many cars passing by.

I loved the contrast of the green plants with the reddish cliffs.

Thanks to a very cold and wet spring the grass was still green.

"Are we there yet?"

Mmmm... tasty thumb


I ended up not having any pictures of Wyoming, we only stopped for gas there and grabbed some lunch. The wind was relentless and bitterly cold. I got an amazingly slow gas pump and it seemed like I had to be out in the cold for hours while my tank filled. The sky there was amazing and huge. I have spent the vast majority of my life near mountains, so the flatness that was around me was almost scary.

Here is my husband trying to figure out where the heck we were. I was the lead driver and had neglected to sufficiently study the route of this leg of the journey. My walkie talkie was out of commission at the time so I could not ask my husband about the route so when I saw our destination mentioned I took the exit. It was a scenic and very beautiful drive and we did get to our hotel with out too much fuss.

My two very cold boys posing on the rocks to humor mommy.

The hotel that we stayed at was right off the freeway. The boys had a blast looking at all the cars and trucks that passed by.

Harry the pig boy

The inevitable shoving match that occurs any time they are having too much fun.


There were a ton of great places to take pictures along the way in Kansas (including a super neat wind turbine farm). However I was so fried from driving that I just wanted to get there already and pictures were very much lacking.

The boys in front of a wheat field. I felt like such a goof walking all the way over to the field, I have seen plenty of wheat fields in my time but I felt it was fitting that their first picture in Kansas be agriculturally themed.

Harry was such a goof and kept trying to get in front of Evan when I was taking pictures.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hell week part two

There has been so much going on since I last updated that I hardly even know where to start. The trip over to Kansas was not too bad except for the one car rollover that happened right in front of me. We stopped to help but there was not much to do, both people were trapped in the SUV and were talking. Luckily it was not far from a town so the firefighters were quick to get there. We got into town later than we had wanted thanks to that and the time zone change. We discovered that there was some car thingamajig in town which meant that if we did not want to spend the night sleeping in our cars we had to drive out a ways and stay in a casino. Normally I avoid giving my money to places like that, but we were tried and glad to have a place to sleep.

Tuesday was the day that we closed on the house. It was pretty exciting and also very scary. When we got to the house we noticed that the wood paneling in the basement was warped which seemed odd to us. We called our real estate agent to have a look and he thought it might be structural because the carpets were dry so he assumed that no water had entered the basement during a bad storm that had come through a few days earlier. We also noted that a bunch of random junk had been left behind by the previous owners. They even left ancient food in the refrigerator. I was pissed.

Wednesday our stuff came. We found out that our washer had not been properly secured during the move and it leaked out the front. We also discovered a few more random broken things but all in all the washer was the biggest thing that had been damaged.

Thursday we madly unpacked our stuff trying to get as much done as possible to help speed our return to normalcy. While I was cooking dinner we heard an eerie siren and realized that this was the tornado siren and that we should be heading to our basement asap. I quickly finished dinner and we ate downstairs. While we were eating I heard the sound of water hitting concrete. That sound was coming from the unfinished half of our basement. Water had filled the window well making it look like a fish tank. It was leaking into our house from the window. Luckily I had never followed through on my thought that I should move more of our boxes to that are of the room. We also discovered that water was slowly leaking into the finished part of the basement from a window on the same side. The same side that had the warped wood paneling. *cue eerie music* It was obvious to us that the basement indeed had leaked during that earlier storm and not been taken care of.

In the disclosures we were told that there had been some flooding during the previous summer, but that dirt had been piled against the house to help prevent further flooding. When we got there it was pretty obvious that nothing like that had even been attempted. Some rocks had been shoved up against the back part of the house where the leaking was happening, but that made things worse since the rocks created low spots and let the water run right through them. It frustrates me to no end that the former owners could have had compacted dirt piled up against the foundation for about $200 (which is what we ended up paying to have a handy man do it for us). Now they are facing some ticked off people (my husband and I) who are going after them to pay for the damage that was done while the house was still in their possession. We sent them a letter through our real estate agent and if they do not pay up we will have to take them to small claims court.

This week since becoming home owners has been full of so many frustrations. I am so ready for stuff to be working already and for us to be able to concentrate on fun house projects instead of fixing all the screwups of the former owners who seemed to care more about appearances rather than doing a project right. I must say though that in general the people here in Kansas are very friendly and we seem to have very nice neighbors (who seem pretty glad that the former owners are no longer living in the neighborhood).

I have been counting my blessings and trying not to be frustrated that I can't do any laundry and I can't find random things that I know are hiding in boxes that have yet to be unpacked. I have to be happy, because we finally have internet again and I can catch up on my blog reading.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Moving on

Tomorrow we are heading out to the great state of Kansas (via Wyoming and Colorado) to sign the papers that will make us homeowners. Much to our dismay we discovered that the DSL that we were used to using was no offered in our area and we will have to go with cable Internet. Since we do not currently own a cable modem we will have to take the time to procure one and until we have one in our hot little hands we will be with out Internet *sob* Hopefully my hiatus will be brief. I know it will be super busy. When I return I will post pictures of the biggest purchase we have made in our lives aka our "Kansas House" (that is what Evan calls the new house).

Friday, June 06, 2008

A fun thing about vacation

One of the biggest reliefs of being on vacation is that you don't have to plan dinner. That is one of my least favorite things about helping to run a household, only doing dishes and cleaning toilets is worse. It has been so nice to play away the afternoon right up until dinner time. I have not been a slacker the whole two weeks however, we did help out several days this week but it was still oh so nice to not have to do it every night.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


It turns out that the termite scare was nothing much. The pesky bugs tried to make inroads in the garage, but were stopped by a cold winter. Not much damage was done and you can be sure that we will be spraying to keep it that way.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I am still knitting

In case anyone has wondered about the lack of knitting content here is a picture of something that I am working on. This is a scarf made from some lovely hand spun yarn. It is so ripply and reminds me of a waterfall.

Monday, June 02, 2008

When will it end?

I have been avoiding talking about the impending purchase of a house for fear of jinxing it, but I feel that we have moved beyond all that. Buying a house has been a very frustrating endeavor for us. We found this house on the first day of searching. After a bit of back and forth about the price and if we would get to keep the refrigerator or not, we thought we were set when we left Kansas. Murphy laughed heartily at us.

First it was some things on the inspection. The jacuzzi tub that was in the master bath (how cool is that?) needed a special plug so that if water got on it while it was in use it would not electrocute whomever was in the tub. Ok, no biggie, the owners would get someone in to take care of that.

Next the appraiser found a small crack in the foundation and decided that an engineer needed to look at it and see if something was drastically wrong with the drainage. It turned out that some dirt needed to be dumped and compacted next to the house so that a grade would form to move water away from the foundation. Again the owners would take care of that before our proposed move in date.

Today we got a lovely call from the realtor. Apparently during our bug inspection some termite damage showed up. Talk about frustrating! Again the owners will have to fix it, but there is no way it could be done before we are wanting to move in. If the damage is too bad we may decide to walk away all together and start all over again. Sigh. I am hoping and praying that the damage is minimal, because I really love this house and want to have a place to move into right away.

P.S. In case you were wondering about my look changing back and forth, I was deleting a flagrant spam comment that slipped past me when I was in a hurry to approve comments. I can't do that with my current template so I temporarily changed it so that I could. I am pondering changing things up a bit since I have had it for over a year, but am waiting until I get things in order from the move.