14 September 2007

THE Move - update

We are HERE! Yay!!! Don’t take the enthusiasm as an indication of my feelings for my Utah peeps --- still got the luv, y’all. We are not settled yet, but we ARE here. Now for the conclusion of our move. It’s LONG because there is a LOT to tell. The gist is that the process has sucked, in case you don’t have time to read the details (or don’t want to… no shame in it). I had dental work done two days before we left: gum surgery… chopped up the gums above my six top front teeth to elongate them in preparation for my new veneers in October. I don’t remember about 24 hours after the procedure because I was way doped up on sedatives… WAY doped up (which makes me wonder what I said that will be held against me later, haha). Luckily I was taken care of by Michelle, Ben and Tiffany so I don’t think I did anything crazy. Well, anything crazier than what I normally do. So I couldn’t eat anything normal for about a week and three weeks after that it’s been touch and go. But my gums look GREAT and I’m excited for my new smile :o) Drove down to Provo to get the UpaininmybacksideHaul and found out I needed to go buy the hitch part (thought it was already on my rig). So down the hill I go to the other UpaininmybacksideHaul but stopped at Napa Auto Parts instead (cheaper). Got back up the hill to have the guy tell me I also needed the 4 to 7 prong adapter. Back down the hill I go and the Napa people greeted me with, “You’re back for the electrical adapter, aren’t you?” Back UP the hill to attach the UpaininmybacksideHaul. That night I attempted to get the Harley inside but had to call my neighbor (who’s the one that’s making my veneers, actually) and it took three of us to get that sucker in there (after disassembling the front fender so it wouldn’t crunch on the ride up and took off the mirrors too). Didn’t have room for much else but managed to bring the plants and other odds n’ ends. Harley arrived save and sound (phew). We drive out early Friday morning for our 12 hour trip that turned into 15 and got my rig all persnickety from having to haul all that way (yesterday it was fixed to the tune of $445 with more problems found that will have to wait). The drive went relatively well… so that’s something positive to report. The kids were a dream (yay, kids!), traffic was smooth and the dog didn’t throw up or get the squirts (yay, dog!). However, one part of the drive that DIDN’T go well (at the time, now looking back it turned out okay, but in the heat of the moment…grr) was the fact that our moving truck that was scheduled to arrive on Friday got stuck in Portland and couldn’t get delivered to the new place until Monday (Ben’s flight back to Utah was Monday afternoon). That’ll be fun… me with the kids unloading and unpacking the entire 28’ moving truck without the man of the house. I didn’t get all cranky about the news (Gordon at UT dispatch ended up being the most helpful and the WA dispatch didn’t know what Utah’s abbreviation was (um, U-T, and you work in dispatch for a moving company that serves the lower 48?), even though I was warranted to throw a fit ;o) We stayed at Ben’s folks Friday night. Saturday morning we headed over to the new (old) house to unload the tiny 4x8 trailer and get the Harley out. We managed to make it work, phew. Then my FIL and Ben concluded that since we had to wait for our stuff to arrive (and Ben would have to reschedule his flight), they’d get started on scraping off the popcorn ceiling in 1/3 of the house (family and dining room… about 600 sq ft rectangular). Taking the drapes down we discovered that there were pieces of paneling missing from the wall that couldn’t be replaced since it was so old (in its defense, it had been painted over and I liked the architectural look it gave with the vertical lines). Pulled the paneling off to reveal NO SHEETROCK/DRYWALL behind a lot of the paneling and even further (yes, I told you this is a long post) there are buckets (literally, I’m not exaggerating) of dead ants that fall out of the wall and most of the walls in the room were NOT insulated. There were spots that had paneling, studs then the outside siding… that’s ALL! Once we realized there was insufficient (or none at all) insulation we tore down the remaining drywall which meant we might as well just pull down the ceiling (instead of wet and scrape it) and re-sheetrock that too. After pulling the ceiling down we found four or five uneven overhead studs (watching the guys use a floor jack to crank up the ceiling… priceless) that made the previous ceiling scallop four times and, the piece de resistance (said in your head with the finest French accent), absolutely NO insulation in ANY PART of the attic throughout the whole 1760 sq ft of our new/old house! Oh yay… we get to spend over 1k blowing insulation into the ceiling (there WAS beautiful, fluffy, pink billows around the 3 skylights… that’s probably what the inspector saw to then report that the house had “adequate” insulation). Since the giant room was raw we added electrical to code as well as more canned lights, a chandelier in the dining area and directional mini cans for artwork (oh, and wired for surround-sound speakers even though we don’t have speakers yet). We pulled out the giant piece of carpet so it wouldn’t get ruined (but then couldn’t re-lay it properly and had to fork out $230 for a carpet layer to do it for us --- plus the guy charged me an extra $60 because it took me 20 minutes to get here even though I told him I was going to be that long and he said no problem… jerk), sawed off the bottom of the French doors so they’d open/close properly (I’m going to paint them black, they will be gorgeous and you will love them), fixed the laundry closet by tearing out an overhead bulkhead thingy that was useless, re-sheet rocking and adding proper flooring so my new washer/dryer combo would feel at home (then we put the former bi-fold doors on and the washer/dryer doors won’t open so I have to rip out the framing to re-jam it for open out doors), added yummy tall baseboards, re-trimmed the windows and doors and added crown molding throughout the space. Still need to putty, sand and paint the trim but the hardest part is over and we can live in the space finally. Let’s see what other things we found:

  • Pee around the toilets (despite the sellers promise that he’d leave the house clean because it’s wrong to leave it dirty… come ON… PEE!?!)
  • Black lab (I think Henry was his name-O) hair EVERYWHERE; floors, carpet, trim, walls
  • At least five rusty propane tanks (three in the garage and two in the dilapidated doghouse)
  • 35 cans (Ben counted) of partially used paint (I asked for paint to be left so I could match it but most are colors that don’t even belong to the house and there should’ve only been three cans left, at most)
  • Hole in the wall to nowhere in Jack’s room (might’ve been a doggie/cat door at one time, but not lately)
  • Dirty carpets with stains that were hidden by the beds
  • Toilet still leaks that seller was supposed to fix
  • Dirty, nasty inside of the microwave (how hard is it to wipe out the microwave… especially for over 450k $’s)
  • Dead mosquito eater in the freezer
  • Main bathroom door doesn’t lock
  • Master bedroom door doesn’t shut (seller hung it wrong, I know that because there wasn’t a door at ALL when we walked through the house) and isn’t easily fixable though we’ve tried
  • NO DOOR on the master bath (not sure why I didn’t notice that before, but come ON, it’s the BATHROOM)
  • Grease, sticky stuff & crumbs in kitchen cabinets
  • Huge Pile of debris in the backyard the seller said he’d get rid of before we moved in
  • Ton of junk left in the garage (tacky plastic horse wall art, old Formica countertop, unsturdy/gross shelves that weren’t attached so they should’ve been taken away, moldy rolls of carpet, random bits of construction)
  • Attack of the flying carpenter ants during demolition (as well as their main residence at the back of the garage)
  • Mold in the master bath that looks like they tried to bleach it or paint over it
  • Back French doors wouldn’t open from the outside
  • Drain spouts exit at the foundation of the house (isn’t the point to get it AWAY from the house?) or don’t work
  • “Fire Pit” in back yard is just a pile of rocks with seller’s leftover burnt debris

And yet more stuff: When the moving truck company came to pick up the empty trailer they severed the cable/internet wiring when pulling it out of the driveway (even though I called specifically to tell them about the potential disaster BEFORE they came out, even THAT day I reminded them) The cable guys came out within two hours to fix it (yay, Comcast guys!) PLUS what the original installer did wrong making the internet unworkable .

Cleaning the ducts cost twice as much as we were told (four hours from start to finish) and they actually made it worse with debris blowing out every time the furnace kicks on (yesterday a different guy came out to re-do it and discovered that there isn’t any insulation UNDERNEATH the house either). Floors aren’t properly sealed so I can’t use my Eureka Steamer (wish I had a link for you but it's an older model) like I did on my other wood floors (and they NEED it something fierce). Manual laborers here are a FORTUNE (no lawn boy anymore or house cleaner, sniff cry). Shop/room off the back of garage wasn’t done properly so there is mildew, wet dog smell and other structural issues. None of the bedroom ceiling lights are centered. The kids rooms were one room but the seller put back the wall, sloppily with seams showing and bad paint job. But the things we love:
  • The neighbors are really quiet and keep to themselves (NOBODY even looks at each other around here)
  • Sound of the wind blowing through the trees
  • Neighbor has a water feature running that we can hear when outside
  • The miles of maintained trails through the greenbelt/forest behind our house
  • Privacy, nobody’s backyard overlooks ours or visa versa (despite the 9 backyards I saw at several of the other houses for sale)
  • Three skylights, one in the family/dining area, living room and kitchen (I’ll add another in the main bath)
  • Lots of light despite the overcast days
  • Architectural elements (rounded wall & corners, archway) and coziness of this house
  • Directional lighting for our artwork
  • Fresh breeze blowing through the windows during the spring/summer
  • French doors (two doubles and one single)
  • Stone front entry floor
  • RARE blaring sunshine to burn our bodies, kids play comfortably outside without getting dehydrated
  • Craftsman front door with six-pane windows (although I think I’ll front them to avoid peepers)
  • Trees, trees, trees, trees, trees (did I mention trees?)
  • Overcast days (I really cannot handle squinting all day long)
  • Cul de sac living
  • Not too far from the city but not too close either
  • School is a hop skip and a jump around the corner
  • Church isn’t as close as before but we get there in about 5 minutes
  • My new HUGE 47" HDTV (which we broke 4 days later trying to move it… I KNOW!)
  • Wood burning fireplace for fall/winter (although I’m sure I’ll curse it when we have to clean it)
  • Moisture in our skin, hair and lungs (my hair has always been soft but it’s been even SOFTER)
  • Close to so much family (Ben’s side, but I do have a grandma nearby too)
  • MORE riding days; I do NOT like riding in 100 degree weather so I think I will have more here
  • Even though the place is ½ the size I feel comfortable in this house (when I get it cleaned anyway)
  • Hop down to Portland, up to Canada, over to the ocean
  • Water, lakes, streams and ocean everywhere (ferries are a fun way to travel)
  • Rain… seriously, I LOVE the rain (it doesn’t rain as much here as you think, not even in the top 10)

So there you have my fiasco of the move. Ben is still flying back and forth for work and I’m trying to get the house in order, Jack off to school then picked up afterward, Piper off to preschool 3 times a week then picked up afterward, dog to the groomer that’s too far away and more expensive than Utah groomers, get the car fixed (tune-up was $445… ouch) get my passport for Mexico in November, vehicles registered, drivers license renewed, house in order, laundry done, hang curtains, find shelving that will fit the spaces we need done, clear out the garage so I can park there, figure out how to haul all the debris from the remodel to the dump, find a way to fit everything I need into my tiny old kitchen, get the closets outfitted to house all our stuff, decorate the kids’ rooms with a way to keep the toys contained but easy for them to get in/out and clean up, maintain the rose bushes, edit client images and get them products, etc. I still have to fly back to Utah twice for the dental work (once to prep and another to install my new teeth) and once to get my legal stuff done for my back from 6 years ago. And on top of it we three are sick with cold, sore throat and sneezes.

P.S. Will post pictures when I can find/unpack the wiring for the camera!