slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
First of all, support local indpendent furniture stores (as with everything else) whenever possible. The money stays in your community, and you'll spend less of it than at the national chains. For what we bought, we would have paid about $900 at Art Van, plus $70 for delivery; at the local place, we spent $580, and delivery was free. Also, in our case, the local place was friendlier, and gave us neat advice about the furniture. For what we were looking at, Art Van didn't even mention what I'm going to discuss below as a possibility.

Secondly: Kids, if you're going to buy an overstuffed couch, you can't go wrong with an Ashley.

The thing about a nice, fluffy, squishy couch is that that fluffy, squishy stuffing is going to flatten out over time. The Art Van guy told us this and was trying to use it as a reason we should buy a more formal, stiffer couch that would have made it impossible for us to slouch as we are accustomed to do.

Now, I don't know if this feature is part of all Ashley couches--I would tend to think not, as our recliner doesn't have it--but on our overstuffed couch, the various fluffy bits have zippers in them so one can replace the stuffing when it gets flat. Any stuffing can be replaced, but there's a huge difference in convenience and expense between opening a zipper to shove in some fiberfill and sending a couch to an upholsterer for who knows how long to be taken apart and put back together.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Skipped posting on Day 5 because that was the day we were up north cleaning the shit out of the old place. It is pristine now, or near enough; I scrubbed the hell out of that bathtub for about three hours and still could not completely eradicate the ten years' deep layer of soap scum from all the people before us who never cleaned it, but I did the best I could.

Both the computers are now down here. When we find the wireless router, we will get them set up and on the intertoobs in the correct room, so I won't have to sit on the floor in front of the coffee table to check my goddamn email.

Meanwhile, today is Furniture Shopping Day. We need to go and pick out a couch and chair for the living room; my dad has given us a price limit and is calling this our housewarming gift because, as those of you who have read the previous moving diaries will already be aware, the couch we had weighed a zillion pounds, smelled funny, and wasn't particularly comfortable.

We are looking for something sturdy, squishy, and solid-colored in an easy-care fabric, that we can then care for properly and keep around for a long time.

Also meanwhile, my mom and her pug, Ziggy, came to help us clean yesterday, and I took Ziggy for a walk around the neighborhood so he could mark every plant over 6" high in a two-block radius. Nigel has been convinced that the pug is an appropriate breed of dog for our lifestyle; for some reason, he thought they were much larger (30-40 pounds) than they actually are (12-18 pounds). But they are little, and silly, and smart, and generally want to have fun and learn tricks but don't require an enormous amount of exercise. And my sister breeds them, so probably the next time she has puppies we will be getting one.

That's if the substitute teacher thing works out for me, so I can be home in the summer to train a puppy. If not, we'll be adopting an older dog from a rescue organization. Probably Michigan Sheltie Rescue in Grand Rapids, because I <3 shelties.

Nigel has been apprised of the trade-off between shelties and pugs. Shelties require more grooming and shed longer hairs; pugs require me to knit adorable little sweaters for them to wear in the Michigan winter so they don't freeze their little curly tails off. Nigel is opposed to dog sweaters on the basis that it is ridiculous to dress up an animal. I have explained that for small dogs, and short-haired dogs, and especially short-haired small dogs, sweaters are a necessity.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
My quads and calves are still a bit stiff, but my hips and butt are feeling better. Got up at 9, took my medication. Am putting off moving my computer out onto the coffee table, where it will live until we get the wireless figured out because there's no cable jack in the spare bedroom (now the computer/craft room). I can't remember if our installation appointment is from noon to 3 or 2 to 5, but we'll be here all day; we don't have the energy to go anywhere.

It is a very good thing we were able to move this past weekend, and not next weekend, because Nigel was lifting stuff a lot heavier than I was (including hauling my behemoth of a computer desk up the stairs on the dolly all by himself), and if my own stiffness is any indication (and I think it is) he would not have been ready to start work the next day, or even the day after.

As the matter stands, he's thinking of calling them up and saying he can actually start coming in on Thursday or Friday. We've got to get back up to the other place tomorrow to clean and get the last of our stuff--mostly Nigel's computer, his desk, and my chair (left behind because it was the smaller and can fit in a car). He left the desk in case we couldn't get the internet hooked up right away, so that he can cancel our other phone and whatnot, because he has that stuff set up online. But since we are getting it hooked up fairly quickly (go figure, the company understands that we need phone1 and internet service to be able to live our lives), I can't help thinking it was a mistake to leave the furniture--he could have used his computer on the floor for that kind of quick stuff if absolutely necessary, and I have misgivings about it all fitting in my car.

But that's probably because I still picture his monitor as being this behemoth of a thing that he used to have, and not the flat screen thing it is now. (I use "flat screen" to mean the little skinny kind, even though my big deep monitor technically has a flat screen. I don't know what the actual term is to distinguish them. But I definitely want one of the other kind someday.)

I am making plans for all the things I want to ask permission to do. I want to hang pictures, put up curtains, there's a spot at the bottom of the balcony door where the weather stripping doesn't go all the way down and I want to fix that. This is mostly really minor stuff, but I'm hoping that if I ask nicely for every tiny little thing they will be on my side if I ever, say, get up the nerve to ask to paint. (It would be a light color, and we would paint the walls back to white before we moved out, and put down drop cloths, obviously.)

I have a Victorian fashion plate (it says "LA MODE ILLUSTRE√Č Bureaux du Journal 56 rue de Jacob Paris" and looks to be late 1860s or thereabouts) and some little mass-produced bare-canvas paintings (or "paintings") of dress forms and things that I want to put up in my sewing area. I've currently got my antique (or vintage, or something) bookshelf set up, with all my YA and craft-related books on it, next to the rocking chair my parents bought when I was a baby2, with a desk lamp pointing down on it because that's going to be my hand-sewing chair. And then my sewing machine is sitting on the floor in front of the outlet where I'm going to plug it in, and the chair I'm going to use is next to that, and then the little plastic three-drawered wheeled thing that I used to keep my nail polish in and which is now going to become the home for bobbins, thread, and notions of all kinds. There will probably be room in the bottom drawer for current knitting projects or something.

Anyway, my little sewing corner is under, like, a sort of lower portion of the ceiling--it's straight out from the top edge of the door frame for about three feet, and then it rises a foot to the regular ceiling height. It's a cozy little spot. Also, it's straight across from the window, and I didn't want to put one of the computers there because there'd be no getting away from the glare on the monitor. Nigel's computer will have the window behind it, but that won't be as bad, because he can close the blinds. And I've got the doors on my desk/armoire-thing that can be manoeuvred to block out the light.

But so: by the time I get to post all these Moving Diary posts, we'll have our new phone number, and those of you who are entitled to that will have it. And tomorrow we're going back up north to clean, and maybe we'll see my mom3, and then on Thursday we're going to hit a couple furniture stores and pick out a couch and chair.

And then once we're unpacked enough that I know where the rags are, I can dust the hell out of everything, and when we get the bleach down here, I'm going to disinfect the kitchen sink. You never know what happened to your sink before you moved in (unless it's new construction). We have already found several little tiny toys in the corner and one piece of dog food.4 The people before us did not clean very thoroughly at all before they left, which is why we vaccuumed the whole place before we moved anything in.

And what else I have to do, between now and Friday, is find the damage checklist in the packet they gave us and go through and make sure there's not anything that we missed on the walkthrough when we signed the lease. I mean, nothing we don't already know about. The spare bedroom has a door stopper of the same kind as the ones in the bathrooms, but there are baseboards in the bathrooms and there aren't any in the bedrooms, and the stopper thing has punched a hole into the wall; I'm pretty sure that got missed. Then there isn't a sprayer attachment on the kitchen sink, but there's a hole for one, and I want to see what can be done about that; I'd like to have the hole plugged, at least, because I don't want water dripping down under the sink. Not that it will probably be a problem, really, since we aren't going to be washing a lot of dishes in the actual sink.

Because we have a dishwasher. That works. Not a dishwasher-shaped empty-bottle-storage cabinet.

Also, we have unpacked our wedding dishes.

Also also, Nigel's grandmother wants to come and visit us here. I told him she needs to do it; it'll be great. She seems to like me now, after she's had a chance to realize I'm not actually some slut5 that's ruining her grandson's life6; also we still have her cake plate and the topper that was on the little one-tier wedding cake she baked for us when she found out we were married.7 Since Nigel doesn't seem willing to get a box and ship them back to her, it will save a lot of trouble if she comes and visits; we can give them to her then.

And, surprisingly, I like her rather a lot for her being someone who insulted me so deeply the first time we met, and who is so conservative. I think it's the fact that she hates Nigel's dad as much as I do.

1. We're bundling everything through the cable company. It's cheaper than the phone company, and we get free long distance this way, which is good because everybody we know (apart from Nigel's work) lives outside of the local calling area. Even [livejournal.com profile] aprilmayinjune, to whom we now live a lot closer than we did (enabling me actually to hang out with her once in a while), is a half hour or so away and will be long-distance. So it will mean I can call everyone all the time and talk forever, and y'all that I know in real life, it means you can call me and have me call you right back and talk as long as we would if we were living in the same town.
2. When my sister was a baby, they bought a rocking chair, and rocked her in it, with the intention of giving it to her when she grew up and moved out, and then they did the same for me when I was born. I think the original thought had been that we could then rock our own babies in that chair, and pass it on, but that kind of didn't work out; whatever our differences, my sister and I do have one thing in common, and that's that we're both childfree.
3. I'm kind of hoping we don't catch her tomorrow, actually. She keeps saying she "doesn't know" if she's going to come through this way when she drives back down to Florida, and I require her to come and see my new place. To this end, I have brought with me a photo album I know belongs to my sister (and not to me), so I can insist my mom come and pick it up to drop off on her way down. Not seeing her tomorrow--the last time, I think, we'll be up there for a while--will give me another excuse to make her come here. I only got to see her for half an hour on Saturday as it was. She never visits me for very long, and she stays overnight at my sister's house. (Which reminds me: we should try to get a sleeper sofa so people can crash here.)
4. This is actually not nearly as filthy as our old apartment currently is, but we are going back there to scrub the place to within an inch of its metaphorical life. So it all evens out. In a related story, I fucking told you I would care a lot more about cleaning if I was living in a decent place.
5. She didn't use that actual word, of course. She's every bit as proper a lady as one would expect a Yorkshire girl, who used to work in t' mill when she was young, moved to America, married middle-class, lost her husband, married upper-class, and has never stopped trying to compensate for her start in life, to be. (She's tried to lose the accent, too, but I can still hear it. Needn't have bothered, really; this is America, where any vaguely British accent connotes wealth, class, and education.) She talked about "playing house" in a certain tone. Now that I've actually married him, and she's seen I knit and sew, she seems to approve of me.
6. I was actually the main reason he stayed in school. I helped him find a program he actually enjoyed and that he could actually finish.
7. For those of you just tuning in, we have encouraged Nigel's family to believe we got married at the courthouse; he didn't feel we could invite any of them without his dad finding out, crashing the wedding, and ruining the day.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Woke up, could barely function my muscles were so sore. Unpacked the books and movies, and most of the dishes, and a lot of the nonperishable food we had brought along. Set up my computer. We transferred the gas and electric into Nigel's name and went out to the cable company to put that in my name. (Paying the bill every month will raise my credit rating, I hope.) Did a bit of basic shopping, came home.

This is our home, y'all. I still can't get over it. I have 950 square feet, a real dining room, a refrigerator that works and has a frost-free freezer, a dishwasher. I have space to set up all my stuff and space to store the things that need storing. Two walk-in closets and even the flat ones are bigger than the ones we had before. And windows, that let in actual light.

I measured our balcony, because we're allowed to have patio furniture, a gas grill (no charcoal--probably for fire safety), and/or potted plants out there. It is 6'x14'. I have 84 square feet of outdoor living space. I had done a bit of Googling, on Friday or Saturday, of growing roses and strawberries in containers, because those are the major things I want to have out there. I'm going to try to do one red rose and one white one, in 20" pots, and a tier of strawberries in a 24", 18" and 10" pot tower. I want to have 15 or 20 strawberry plants; the website said to expect a cup per plant the first year, and 2 or so the second and third, and it said I would only need about 10 plants for "snacking" but 20-25 if I wanted to freeze or can some. The thing is, they don't know me. They don't know how fast I go through berries. I go and buy the one pound container and eat it all in one sitting.

But I don't know, I'll have to do some more research before I decide for sure what I'm doing. Apparently you can plant strawberries really close together if they're in a pot, but I don't know how close that is. Meanwhile my dad bought one of those hanging tomato things, and he has the container part for strawberries too, but he's given it to me to see if I can hang it from a hook or something on the balcony. I'm not sure there's anywhere to attach a hook, and I might have to get the tripod thing for it, which would be more expensive than pots, so we'll see what the plan becomes.

The balcony is on the west side of the building. It is not under a tree or anything, and gets full sun for the second half of the day. I think my plants will be happy, but the strawberries will probably need to be turned sometimes.

Nigel is worried the balcony can't hold the weight of a little table and chairs, two roses, the strawberries, a grill, and the two of us. I'm fairly sure it can. He made mention of the wood being "old" and "rotten", but what it is, is that the floor and railing of the balcony are gray and weathered, and the joists or whatever you call them--the bottom, support-y part--are made of treated two-by-twelves. Twelve at least, I mean, they look like at least a foot to me from the ground so they're probably bigger. And the whole bottom, underneath part of the balcony is brand new wood.

Also, they can't rent you an apartment with a balcony if the balcony is not up to code. They'd get sued into the ground because someone would get killed or something.

Also also, Nigel equated my plants, patio furniture, and a grill with "Hulk Hogan doing deadlifts", which is just patently ridiculous.

Still, I will probably ask the maintenance guy how much weight I can put on it.

Meanwhile, I have to find a nursery around here to buy the equipment I need (once Nigel starts getting paid) that seems like they know what they're doing so I can ask how bad the rose schaefers are in this area. Because I will go out there every day and kill the little bastards, but I'd rather not have to.

So then in the evening the lights and fans in the bathroom stopped working and we had some fun flipping the switches in the circuit breaker box for a while until we figured out that it was the outlets, that we had to press the "Reset" button. Nigel figures he must have bumped it or something, or water got splashed on it, who knows. But so now we know, and I'm glad we figured it out before I called the maintenance hotline again, because I had already called it on Sunday about the key and then had to call back and leave another message saying "never mind". We did not need to become the tenants who have to call every day about some inconsequential thing that's not actually a real problem.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Made sure everything from my dad's was in the truck (or his car, or our car), and brought the truck back over to the apartment to get the bed and the last of the stuff in boxes. Picked up my last prescription refill in Big Rapids, popped the hamsters in the car, and took off.

I had a good drive down. Sunday morning is a good time to be on the road, in Michigan, because most people are at church, and the people who are spending the weekend at their cabins aren't driving back south yet and won't be until the afternoon.

Got here and couldn't get my key to work. When my dad and Nigel arrived, it transpired that I had had the door unlocked the whole time but just wasn't shoving hard enough to open it; it sticks a bit.

Peanut's water bottle had been bumped into contact with her bedding, or had been jostled a lot, or something, because two-thirds of its contents were soaking the right side of her cage. Had to wait for the hamster-gear box to come off the truck to get her sorted out, but I stuck her in her ball in the master bathroom so she didn't get sick.

We were hauling furniture and large, heavy boxes of books and movies up three flights of stairs until 8 at night. Still sore.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Spent all day packing up everything we own, except some cleaning supplies, the food in the fridge, and some of the toiletries we won't need for a while. Loaded most of the truck. Was able to get into some of my online stuff in the evening; ran my Kirin Tor and Wyrmrest Accord dailies, as the last chance I'd have before the new internet was set up, but couldn't post to my journal because I didn't have Semagic, and couldn't put anything on the WoW auction house because Nigel doesn't have the right addons.

We left the ugly old couch in the apartment. It weighs a ton, and the landlord said the next tenant wants it, so. My dad wants us to go to a furniture store, once we figure out where some are, to pick out a couch and chair set that's not too expensive, which he will then pay for. We're going to have decent furniture! I'm so excited.

We drove the rented truck over to my dad's to pick up some of the furniture I have inherited from my mom's family that I wanted to bring down. We didn't get everything, but the stuff we left is little enough that it will fit in cars later if necessary. I do have my silver chest, and my rocking chair, and the little antique chair I'm going to use for whatever table I scare up for my sewing machine. And I have a little oak(?) rack for drying clothes on, which I plan to use for skeining yarn, because it will work a lot better than the cardboard boxes I've been using.

Left the truck in my dad's driveway, padlocked, on the basis that people were less likely to saw through the lock and steal things out of it there than in our neighborhood.

Crashed around midnight.

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October 2012

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