Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This is how...

... my basement entrance will be fixed: with calculations written on the back of my homeowner's insurance envelope.

In Which I Discover Dry Cement is Very Heavy

Accomplished today:
Zero moving from old to new house: too hot.
One slightly used medicine cabinet from Craig's List from lady's garage
One discount refrigerator supplier discovered in Cargo Bay #4 on the West Side next to freeway.
4 very large windows with mostly intact glass panes but crummy crummy frames recovered from side of road.
One 6 x 6 pressure treated post to insert under Tippy Beam in basement; accompanying 5 bags of dry cement that prove Very Heavy to carry.
Painting supplies including telescoping pole.
Massive indecision regarding paint colors for bedroom; depression ensues.
One $12 Whole Foods Salad -- peace is restored to the universe.
Three mold tests: for visual mold, to test air quality in rest of house, and control test of outside air.
I revert to Drawbridge idea to solve Hobbit Basement problem.
This is J and I at the end of a long, hot, semi-frustrating day. We are sitting in Mold Central, trying to design Non-Hobbit basement. Note attractive and professionally taped up plastic in background. I used the staple gun and it was fun.

Dickens Disapproves of the Move

THiz ees DICKENS. I am NAP on Thees bocks so no u can Moov.

We Quarantine the Yuck

Progress is made: we staple plastic up over the doors and tape it down so that no mold spores can sneak into the rest of the house when we tear apart Moldy Wall. Luckily, after taping off the first door, we could go out the back door. Unfortunately, after taping off the second doorway, we had to climb out the window. Also unfortunate is that if we have to use the one working toilet now, we have to climb back IN the window. Secretly, I found this great fun. Who doesn't want to climb in and out the windows of a new house? I tried to take photos of the taped off doorways, because they are quite impressive, but they came out really uninspiring. Instead, here is a picture of the tape that we used, and one of Jason holding a hammer.

Almost all my belongings are now piled in the front room! We moved the big table and the wardrobe yesterday. Nothing was broken, including my back. Afterward, we ate fish sandwiches and milkshakes outside. Summer is awesome.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Today, I have reached a new packing low: I've locked my stuff into a truck to which I have no key. Oops.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The first of the boxes arrive

Here they are, the first of many boxes that I'm beginning to schlep over to my new house. The evening sun was really nice coming in the windows, so I took pictures of the kitchen and living room.

Operation Install Shower Curtain Rod: FAIL

I bought higher end chrome shower curtain rods with a double bar for either a decorative outer curtain or to hang towels -- because they were on clearance at Smiths. Unfortunately, the lower end curtain rods install with one instruction: screw into place. These special shower curtain rods come with an installation BOOKLET, and, as I discovered after much head scratching, a special TOOL that looks like a bent paper clip but is actually the key to loosening the "set screws" to remove the whatsit plate before you mount it onto the wall.

Two problems:
* Bathroom #1: where I am supposed to screw into the wall is currently tiled. This is beyond the powers of my manual hand drill.
* Bathroom #2: read the fine print -- I'm supposed to mount the thingy into a stud, or use the hoodle-doo mounting widgit.

Operation Curtain Rod: FAIL.

Before relaunching the attack, I need 2 things. Well, mostly just one thing. Jason comes home tomorrow, and that'll pretty much solve my stud finder problem. :)

Acquired today:

1 new line of credit at Home Depot
46 bundles of shingles
3 turtle vents, 6 batches of edging, 4 rolls of tar paper, and various other roof-related materials
2 bathroom shower rods
2 new shower curtains
1 stubbed toe

Neighbor update: Susie's "honey" Joe mowed my lawn for me while I was away! I knew I liked that lady, and her leg tattoos.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Goat, Marking Territory, and the Bishop next door

My search for a lawn mower on all the discount sources in Salt Lake didn't turn up very much, but I did find a listing for a free goat on Craig's List. The real question is, would a goat count as an energy efficient upgrade, and could I write it off on my taxes?

Today, I felt for the first time like the house was really mine. I think this may have been because I finally brought some toilet paper into the place, (for the functioning toilet, not the one that causes the waterfall in the basement) and there is something very primal about peeing in your own house. Now it's mine: I peed in it.

Along with marking my territory, I mopped and dusted, and moved in the first of many boxes.

Neighbor update: Susie, my middle-aged next door neighbor with the leg tattoos, is going to be awesome. She is a special ed teacher in West Valley and is very excited about getting a Spaniel-Heeler mix puppy. There is also a young 30-something single woman living by herself at the end of the street who already has a puppy who also seems like a potential ally in the neighborhood. Word has it that the guy with the wind-chime porch is a very friendly Bishop.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Houses need water, but not too much

The Public Services Department in Salt Lake City is housed in one of the most interesting pieces of architecture in the city. This isn't saying much, since Salt Lake seems to be thoroughly uninterested in preserving the Old and regularly knocks down Old Things in order to put up much less interesting New ones. In any case, it was one building I knew how to reach, since Jason and I scoped it out one night after eating Nacho Mamas at the Vertical Diner, which is in the same neighborhood. The conversation went something like this:
Jason: What the heck IS that?
Me: I don't know.
Jason: Let's go find out.

And that's how I ended up learning where the Public Services Department is located, so I was feeling pretty good about myself when I set off to go there today, to sign up for garbage, recycling, water and sewer service.

The Public Utilities people inside told me that my water was already turned on, which was surprising, seeing as no water comes out the faucets. I somehow remarkably remembered where the water valve for the whole house is, probably because it is located in the worst possible spot, in the not-the-slightest-bit finished part of the basement where you have to scramble up the concrete embanked foundation, sucking in your stomach to get past the furnace and then trying not to get insulation in your hair when you crawl on hands and knees over the dirt to get to the Very Important Faucet. When I twisted it, it made gurgling noises, but nothing dramatic happened. I took this as a good sign.

Later on, as I was uninstalling and re-installing a doorknob and deadbolt combination for the 3rd time (turns out it doesn't work unless you put all the bits in the right places), I heard a dripping sound. I did the Hobbit basement limbo in record speed to get down there and to my horror, saw water dripping from the floor above. Luckily, it was not a pipe, but rather a Failure To Stop Filling situation in a toilet upstairs. Turning off the toilet seems to have stopped the water from flooding my bathroom floor and running into the basement. Gosh.

Neighbor update: There are young looking people across the street, who look like they own there own house and don't live in anybody's basement. This is promising.