Where the hell have I been?

Sorry for the lack of postings lately, but we’ve been settling into our new home. We’ve been here for two and a half months now and we’re mostly unpacked. The living room, master bedroom, guest bedroom, dining room, and kitchen are unboxed and more or less sorted. Just Anne’s den and the basement remains and we made a good start on the basement this evening.

If you recall back at the start of June the basement looked like this:

And tonight it’s looking like this:

A huge improvement. The stack of boxes on the right is all stuff that needs to go upstairs to Anne’s den because it’s mostly arts and crafts or photographs and it was mistakenly moved to the basement during the move. Over in the area in the far back right is where I’ll be setting up my computer lab (my actual desk is just out of frame at the bottom) and it’s full of empty boxes that need to be broken down. 10 of the 14 lights in the ceiling have been replaced with LED bulbs after I replaced their wall switches. Just the four in front of the fireplace remain incandescent  as we don’t use them as often, but I’ll be swapping those out before too long. I got my TARDIS lights my real estate agent gave me hung up in the bar area too, but I need a shorter extension cord for them.

I need to think of something to put on the wall behind me as right now it’s just wood paneling and one of the platforms for the kitty tower. I’m going to try my hand at vlogging and streaming and right now it’s stunningly bland.

I am the stereotype of the fat computer geek in his basement personified. One nice thing about the LED bulbs I put in. I don’t need studio lighting as these things do the job just fine. My webcam will do automatic background replacement, but the paneling is so light it ends up replacing part of my head and I look like a bad accident victim. I have some blue contact paper that might work, but the highlights on my chair are also blue so that could be a problem.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. Working and settling in. Next Friday is my birthday and we’re having a party which is part of why we’re busy getting the last of the boxes unpacked or stored away someplace. I still have to put together my BBQ grill that I got as an early birthday present from my mother-in-law. I’ve never actually grilled anything before so that should be fun.

Beyond that I keep meaning to blog something about Trump, but the fucker is rushing from one misadventure to another so quickly that I can’t keep up. Now that things are finally getting settled around here I’m going to make more of an effort. Especially with the vlogging thing. Not sure what I’ll do it about. If you have ideas you’d like to see me try, let me know.

My first week (and a half) as a homeowner.

After a harried three days of packing and several trips back and forth with a UHaul cargo van that we rented in addition to the movers we hired, we managed to get all our shit into our new home.  We have lovingly named our new abode “Castle Boxlandia” for obvious reasons.

The current state of my basement. That’s not including the boxes in the living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Click to embiggen.

We’ve slowly started to unpack with emphasis on the word slowly. We only used the stove for the first time this morning as much of the kitchen, including most of the pots and pans, remains boxed up. Anne had to have outpatient surgery on Friday and she’s recovering from that so that’s also a factor.

That said, I have accomplished a few things such as putting together the two new cat trees we purchased.

These came from two different companies and I have to admit that in the future I think I’ll stick with the company for the one on the right. On the first tree the cubby isn’t really big enough for either cat nor is the tube near the top. It’d be fine for kittens, but for adult cats it’s a little disappointing. Not that Jasper isn’t getting use out of it. The second one is not only taller (I was worried it was going to be too tall), but the cubby is more than large enough for the cats to fit in. I don’t have the ladder attached to the front of the first one yet, but it has three sisal covered rungs for scratching purposes. The second one just feels like it’s better built as well. Both went together with the included allen wrench.

I did get around to buying an electric lawn mower, but I’ve not unboxed it yet. That’ll probably happen later today after it’s cooled off a bit outside. It’s supposed to hit 90° today. I still need to buy a sprinkler as it’s not rained much lately and my grass is starting to turn brown. I did attempt to water the yard by hand a couple of days ago, but I don’t think it helped much.

I’ve received two housewarming gifts so far. The first from my real estate agent was a couple of sets of TARDIS string lights to hang around my bar. The second one was from my mom and it was a bronze colored metal sun for hanging on the front of the house that I’d had my eye on. It replaces the floral wreath in the previous pictures and looks like this:

That’ll brighten up your day.

We’ve got our computers and TVs set up and we’re back online. My computer is in the basement which is at least 20 degrees cooler than upstairs. So much so that I have to wear socks and shoes when down here for any amount of time lest my feet end up freezing. I’m hoping the reverse will be true when winter comes. On the bright side, my PC can pump out all the heat it wants without me breaking into a sweat. Even with all the lights on in the basement — which put out a fair amount of heat themselves — it stays really cool down here.

My mom dropped by yesterday with the housewarming gift above and some of her furniture that was taking up space in her storage unit that she thought we could use. My sister also gave us this huge dining room table that may not be pretty to look at, but will hold up plates of food just fine until we get something else to take its place. A couple of end tables for the living room, a jewelry box, and there’s more yet to come. We’ll be heading up that way next week to pick up a TV stand and some more bookshelves.

So here we are. Surrounded by a sea of boxes that we’re slowly working our way through. It’ll be awhile before we figure out where to put everything and what to get rid of, but we’ve no need to rush. I’ve looked forward to owning my own home for a long time and I plan to enjoy it as much as I can.

Homeownership: A new era in my life.

Next Monday at 12 noon is when I will close on my first home. Possibly my last home too unless I win the lotto or something. This is it here:

Home sweet home.

It’s a three bedroom ranch with a finished basement and two and a half bathrooms. There’s a gas fireplace in the basement and a small wet bar. It’s eight years older than I am, but, unlike me, it’s in pretty good shape despite its age.

My entire adult life has been spent either living in someone else’s house or in apartments and now that I’m on the cusp of owning my own house it occurs to me that I have this odd contradiction about the stuff I own. I have a lot of stuff. A good chunk of it is still packed in boxes in the basement of the townhouse we’re currently renting until the end of May. Mostly books and kitchen stuff that won’t fit in the tiny kitchen we currently have. Also, there’s a number of additional boxes still in my in-laws basement from when we lived with them for awhile.

Some of those boxes contain Christmas decorations I received as gifts from back in my 20’s that have only seen the light of day once when I first received them and have been laying in wait for the day that I finally purchased my own house and had someplace to display them. That’s right, I have home decor that’s at least 20 years old with a few bits that are at least as old as my daughter. One is a porcellian horse drawn sleigh and another is a huge musical snow globe with a Santa in it. Non-holiday decor like some Sun/Moon/Stars wall sconces for candles are also in there. I’m really looking forward to having someplace to display them for the first time.

On the other hand there’s a ton of things I’ve never owned before that I’m going to have to purchase. Things like a ladder. At a minimum I’m going to need a step ladder and I’m sure sooner or later I’ll need an extension ladder. Another would be a lawn mower. I won’t need a huge one, but I’m going to need something unless I find a reasonable lawn care company.

I have had a dining room table before, but it was a small, round one that barely fit four people that I had to get rid of when we moved back to Canton due to lack of room for it. I’d like to get one that seats at least six people. I’ve got a power drill, but no bits for it. I may actually have to drill something in the future. I’m going to need a screen for the fireplace. It’s gas so there’s no real danger of sparks popping out, but I do have two cats that’ll be running around the joint. The fireplace also doesn’t have a mantelpiece and the more I think about it the more I think I want to add one. It’s a bit boggling to consider that I’m thinking of buying a mantlepiece.

That’s a lot of brick for what is a small firebox. You’ll note there’s no chimney for it in the first picture of the front of the house. That’s all for show.

I’m going to need to pick up carbon monoxide detectors for the first time in my life as well as replace smoke detectors from time to time. Hell, I’m going to have to learn about furnace filters and when to replace them and what size to get. I should probably buy a couple of fire extinguishers, which is something else I’ve never had to think about before.

A rake. We don’t have a ton of trees on our property, just one in the back, but it’s going to lose its leaves come fall. I have to remember when trash day is as I’ll no longer have a dumpster I can toss garbage into whenever the need arises. Also curbside recycling. Cleaning gutters will be something new for me. There’s that need for a ladder again.

It’s weird and exciting and a little overwhelming to think about. It all becomes my reality next Monday. I’m more than a little nervous about it. It’s taken me a long time, but I somehow managed to pull it off. Buying a home was one of the bigger challenges I’ve struggled with for a long time, but I believe I’ve done it without putting myself at too much risk. It’s a nice house. I’m hoping I don’t fuck it up too badly.