Monday, April 24, 2017

There's A Wall There.

The last couple of weeks have been chocked full of running around, things piled up in every corner except the corner they're supposed to be in, and general shenanigans.

But on the plus side of things, THE KITCHEN IS DONE. Over budget longer than we wanted, but that's how such things happen. If a renovation project ever ended early and under budget, the world as we know it would end.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product:

You get a nice idea of what the new floor looks like from here.
We love it! So glad we went with a darker finish.

A new seating area where the garbage and storage table
used to be. The table and chairs are outdoor models left over
from Best Guy's condo living days. Perfect here!

NO MORE DOOR! I may stop saying "there's a wall there"
in another week or so. Maybe.

Another shot of the seating area.
Some of the artwork may adjust a bit, but for the most part we are very happy with things as the are right now. The Woo Woo Room, however, is still a complete mess. I'm going to try to work on it for the next week or so, but we've been using it as a catch-all storage area for everything else and we need to empty it out so I can start work on the floor. Sigh. Maybe we'll just keep the door closed for the next six months.

This weekend we also had a birthday party for my Mom, who turned 70. We put the final coat of paint on the new wall at 7am the day of the party. The picture went up about an hour before Mom arrived. But we got everything done, and everyone had a good time and loved the food. Even Toby, who managed to get in to some chocolate cupcakes while we were at the show I was performing at that night. Whoops. He is fine. Had a couple interesting poops but no damage otherwise. Except to us. We were looking forward to those cupcakes.

A parting shot of the show I performed at Saturday night. We once again collaborated with another dance group. They started the piece, we had a little middle together, then we went on with our piece. It was very well received and raved about. We love working with these ladies, and can't wait to do so again.
The priestesses calling the wolves. The Accaliae and Leanan Sidhe
Photo courtesy of Steven Mease Photography

Friday, April 14, 2017

Water Incursion

While we were on vacation, hard rains and the melting of 30 inches of snow meant our basement took on water. Because that's what's supposed to happen when you go on vacation.

Luckily, our house/pet sitter caught it fairly early on and with the help of one of Best Guy's band mates was able to keep the basement from actually flooding.

We've solved the biggest problem already: wet carpet. That was removed on Tuesday. We didn't realize there was padding underneath; once that's dry they will scrape that up for us too. The carpeting was at least 30 years old and the smell was horrible.

Sort of before. Some stuff had already been moved out (like the kick drum,
which sits directly on the floor.) The carpet here is soaked.

Pretty sure foamy goodness is not supposed to happen on a carpet.

Best Guy's foamy footprints on the carpet.

Halfway point. The humidifier is running in an attempt to
dry out the padding. Which is glued down like nobody's business.
This will probably get removed on Monday when the same guys
are here to install the kitchen floor.

For now, our plan is to leave the basement floor uncovered (save some carpet remnants courtesy of Best Guy's dumpster diving at a local carpet store). BG wants to have all the instruments moved back in to the basement for practice next week. We are also planning on investing in some mold resistant storage options. Moving forward, everything is going to be kept as off the ground as possible.

Unfortunately though, it has seriously bumped up our talk of renovations to the area. When we moved in, it was a very long term goal (like 5+ years out). Now, we're talking next year.

We had someone come in yesterday to give us suggestions and an estimate as to what it would cost to install a more efficient form of water management than what we currently have. Pricing was about what we expected, but with the added expense of semi-finishing the basement to bring it close to what it was, we are looking at $20k minimum if we do both the water management system and the finishing. Neither of us want to take a loan out right now, and we are unconvinced that we could make that money back upon resale, given how much houses generally go for in this area.

So, we are taking the time to consider our options.

In brighter news, the kitchen renovation is still moving forward. The floors will be installed on Monday. The drywall will go in on Wednesday. We're buying the paint this weekend and hope to get a good start on it then.

Things won't be completely finished in time for my Mom's birthday party on the 22nd, but they will be mostly done. And I can't wait to see the end result!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Happy Birthday, Boo Boo!

Sweet Potato, T-Dog, T-Bag, Pooperdoo, Toblerone, Booger... Toby!

One year ago today, we adopted Toby. Since we don't know his real birthday, we're considering today a double anniversary of birth and adoption. So, today Toby is both Nine and One. But not ninety-one.

When we first got him, he was a roly-poly, overweight pooch, scared and nervous. He warmed up to Best Guy and I quickly, but as we became more comfortable with him he began to show up all his quirks and foibles. And then the fun really began.

It's been one hell of a road with the Pooper Scooper. His behavioral issues got the best of us on more than one occasion, and we'd be lying if we said it hasn't affected our standing in the neighborhood on some level. We still struggle with the idea that we will have to remain forever vigilant when we take him out in the real world, or when we invite the real world into our home. At this point, we will probably never convince our old fart not to hate dogs or be afraid of men. We will, for the rest of our time with him, have to tag-team with Toby duty whenever people are over. He will never be okay with these things.

All that being said, we have seen massive improvements. His success with the Petsitter was mind-boggling. He accepted her 100%. He recovers much more quickly when we have people over now, although less quickly when its men.
Toby with Auntie Jen. Scritches were asked for and received.

Walks with Toby have also improved. We've gotten to the point where we can pass people (on the other side of the street), especially if they're standing around ignoring us. If he's unsure or nervous about something, he seeks us out and asks for comfort. He cuddles with us, he plays with us. He's a goofy goober with us.
How bad can work be when you've got this all cozied up to you?

He loves us, and there is no denying that fact. He is happy here with us. However nervous he is and may always be, we are his Momma and Daddy, and he knows that we love him too.
Happy birthday, Boo Boo!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

All that's Left of Vacation is Laundry and a Desire to Eat All the Salads

Yesterday, we arrived home after a week's traveling. The vacation itself was wonderful, but boy did we have to work to get it.

We had a flight out at 6am on Wednesday. They always say fly out as early as possible to avoid any of the delays that inevitably happen as the day wears on. What they don't tell you is that severe thunderstorms and tornado watches in Atlanta at 9am will fuck up the entire United States grid indefinitely. We were supposed to arrive in Florida by 11;30am. We arrived at 4am the next morning, with an hour to go before we hit our final destination. By all accounts, we were lucky to get there at all. So we were grateful for 4am and a friend willing to drive an hour at that time to pick us up and drive us back.
Our "help us get home" line in the airport. They were not helpful. AT ALL.

Florida itself was incredible. We got some serious beach and chill time. We didn't do anything much. We were just so happy to be outside in sunshine and warmth we didn't need to do anything else. We met up with Mom of Best Guy for lunch our second day there. She gifted me a lovely bracelet and watch that had been her mother's, and to BG she gave him his grandfather's medical school yearbook.

Best Guy and Best Friend discussing an entire musical centered around a Werechicken.

Colorful, delicious lunch with Mom of Best Guy

Best Guy, Me, and Mom of Best Guy

After Florida, we headed up to Virginia to spend some time with Brother of BG and family. Spring was in its glory there, and we the time of the year when you can literally see the leaves coming out on the trees. There is some walking paths along the Potomac that they favor, so we spent some quality time along those paths. We had lunch at a Burmese restaurant, something we don't have here in Vermont and it was one of the best meals I'd had in a long time. Certainly all week.

Adam and our rent-a-dog for Virginia, Shorty. (He's Brother of BG's dog)

The bluebells, they were a-bloomin'!

Did you know the Potomac River had some falls? I didn't. I do now.

Shorty and Shorty's Dad, walking along the path.

Yesterday we returned home on a downright pleasant couple of flights. Of course, now that we are home, we need to deal with the fact that our basement decided to fill up with water while we were gone. That's right. The ultimate homeowner cliche. We were beyond lucky that our housesitter and a friend were able to deal with the worst of it before we had feet of standing water down there. But suffice it to say, we're on the phone with our insurance now.

Toby did wonderfully with his house/pet sitter. He was certainly very happy to see us, although it took him a moment to remember that Best Guy was not just any guy but Daddy. Which, honestly, showed us just how deep his distrust of men goes. But apparently Toby was affectionate and very well behaved with the PetSitter while we were gone, and she had nothing but praise for him. Good Boy, Toby, Good Boy!

So, all in all it was a good week away and we were glad to be home. But now we're back, the work is just beginning.

In Case You Missed It....

It occurs to me... ...just now, after much caffeine... ...that some of my Dear Readers may have come here originally for my posts pertai...