September 24, 2012 by rebelwithalabelmaker
We are now really starting to make ourselves at home at the new house. For me, "making myself at home" means breaking things.
You know to expect this when you move into a house that the realtor says "has character". But we didn't use a realtor, we bought from Reader Who Is Not Named Carol, who is not into euphemisms like that. He sent us an email saying "It's an great house but an old house–attached is a list of all the things wrong with it" and followed by telling us the price that they'd accept if we haggled.
Which, I have to say, is a great way to bargain with someone because you can't get distracted and forget what number you were at or start moving in the wrong direction. Also, it saves a lot of time. The whole thing took about ten minutes, minus the paperwork part of course which is not important because Gary does it.
So we knew that the house had "Character", although we did not know that it had Characters… as in more blood sucking Characters than a Stephanie Meyer novel… but as I mentioned before those did not come from Carol and his wife.
Things that Gary loves about the new house:
This is our magical deck. It is magical because the mosquitos don't seem to know it exists. We can sit there in the evenings and nothing bites us. Until pretty recently, it was actually the only place on the property you could go without being bitten. I always introduce it as "this is my deck that I made for our family". When I say I "made the deck" I mean I bought the plants and laid them out. Also, I stripped and repainted this chair:
You may or may not recognize it as the chair from the dining set that I brought home on my bike. Gary did not even recognize it. He was so impressed that he said "How did you strip off all the lead paint?"
"I know." I said, "Amazing, hey?"
"No, really," he continued, "How exactly did you remove the leaded paint."
He doesn't usually take such an interest in my hobbies, but apparently he really cares about furniture stripping because he wanted to know what chemical I used, and where I did it, and whether I used a respirator and everything. I am glad he's getting involved in our home decorations.
Things that I love about the new house:
This is our story book bathroom. I love it because it is so cute and unique. With it's custom little radiator cover and it's low window that gives you a lovely view of the yard and deck. Of course, it's a very low window, so it gives the yard and deck a view of you as well, if you get my drift. Which is only a problem in early August, when the apple tree produces hundreds of pounds of awesome delicious not at all sour apples, and I have to invite children 3,231 over to pick them all. Fortunately, there are a lot of families in our Church that have 3,231 children so works out well. So long as we remember to close the blinds.
Isn't this the cutest laundry chute you've ever seen? I thought so too. I was so excited because in the house I grew up in we had a laundry chute and you could put the laundry in and then magically it would show up folded in your drawers. I pictured how tidy our bathroom would stay because we could all easily toss the laundry down the chute in one movement and that part has worked wonderfully. The part where it comes out of the chute at the bottom, though… not so much.
Me: But the dirty laundry doesn't come out anywhere.
David: So, it's not a laundry chute then.
Me: I know, it's way better.
Eric: How come I have no pants?
This is or kitchen. Part of it. I can't show you the whole kitchen because that would require cleaning the other half:
Everyone who sees it says "Are you sure Gary will be happy in this kitchen?" because of how we love to have dinner parties. Gary will cook dinner for forty people, and I will provide entertainment (getting people playing piano, or playing board games, or whatever). We can still do this, of course, but only in early August, and only if by "dinner" we mean apples. And by "entertainment" we mean sitting in the apple tree watching people pee.
Actually, the new house is very well laid out for dinner parties. Although so far nobody has come over. This may have something to do with how I am constantly posting on the internet about having bed bugs.
The old house was all one big room, mostly, in the dinner party department. It had a living room the size of the Northwest Territories, which is actually not great because of the 3,231 children who would alternate between running circles around the adults as they are trying to talk and disappearing into the back yard where they all piled onto the trampoline which would collapse under their weight except that reliably the swarms of mosquitos suck out enough blood to lessen their collective weight by a good third or so.
The new house has a normal size living room, a normal sized dining room, and the worlds coolest giant play room above the garage so kids can play not right on top of you but close by. You can see them as they are playing and intervene if there are fights or swarms of blood sucking pests of any variety. Which there mostly aren't because we redid the floors and trapped all the bed bugs in. I am fond of telling people that the boys did it, and then Eric interrupts and says "No, we didn't, Mom did the first part. We did the parts that are straight."
Then, as an afterthought he adds "And we're going to finish tiling it when Mom buys us more tile."
Well, it turns out the new kitchen is awesome. It doesn't have stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, but it's the best laid out kitchen I've ever lived in. It's like it was custom built for us–there's a spot for everything exactly where we need it to be. My favourite part is how when you turn on a burner, the result is a hot burner. Not a clicking sound for three minutes followed by a bunch of whining about how gas stoves don't work. Gary is not sympathetic because he insists that 1) the stove does work, and 2) if I don't like the sound of the whining, I should stop whining.
Gary is also, unexpectedly, a fan of the new kitchen, although you can't please everyone because I love the new stove but he hates it. He is replacing it with a fancy shmancy stove. Which makes me very sad because I love the new burners.
Me: Do we have to get a new stove? You are prejudiced against the burners.
Gary: The oven door hangs off the hinge.
Me: I fixed that.
Gary: What did you do with the oven door?
Me: I needed somewhere to store my canning supplies.
(In my defence, I did this after we decided the oven wasn't fixable or useable. And also after we'd decided we were going to replace it. Because somebody doesn't want to cook his h'ors d'oeuvres in the toaster)
Me: See? No more hanging door. I can use tools after all.
Gary: The new stove will be here Saturday.
Me: Whaaaaaatt? I was just about to label the old one!
Gary: Go ahead.
Also, guess what guess what guess what? Long time readers will remember the series of posts about my nostalgia for the broken toilet from last year (Part One and Part Two, and will be happy to know that I once again have a label-able toilet!
Of course, I realized in retrospect that the label isn't in a very good location because users will not notice it until after the, um, relevant moment has passed. You can't read it when it's behind you.
Oh well, the kids in the apple tree have a good angle on it. I'm sure they'll help people out.