Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting there...

We are slowly getting more and more settled in the new place - it's tough because every time we think we have a few good hours to spend on our own place we end up having projects to work on at the rental properties! Steam cleaning carpets, patching holes and repainting over them, fixing screen doors (thanks to the cats), and so on. The major lesson we have learned during this whole process is that everything will take longer than we think it will. For example, we thought we could finish painting over our patched holes at the condo before church on Sunday. When we got there ready to paint we found that 3 of the 4 colors we needed to paint had dried up sitting in the crawl space. We had to go to Home Depot for more paint - always something that will take longer than you anticipated!

Saturday was just beautiful outside and we got the garage all cleaned out. Well, the renters' side anyway. Our side of the garage still has some tables we need to sell, our patio furniture and some boxes that need to be unpacked. We also have a few weeks of garbage that should be picked up this week - thank goodness!

Their side...

Our side...

RJ also found a fun new tool (aka man toy) the previous owners left in the garage for us. A cool branch trimmer! He spent a little while on Saturday afternoon cutting some branches that were interfering with our extra parking.

Harvie and I were also very helpful..

We gave keys to our duplex renters so they could get in and clean and unload some boxes before May 1st. They have been over a lot and I've had a lot of fun with the girls - they have two girls who are 7 and 4 and one baby boy. The girls are so funny and they love playing outside, something they can't do at their current home. I found some sidewalk chalk I had in my art supplies and gave them that to play with. They love the chalk and love all the animals, especially the dog.

They are so funny. Chloe (the 7 year old) mentioned something about the chandelier on the top of their steps and how we're going to put it in our dining room. I said: "I think it's more of a dining room chandelier than a top of the stairs chandelier, don't you think?" and she said: "Yeah, it would look like you were rich!". So cute. This is the chandelier:

The other day I was at Lowe's and saw some pretty flowers on sale and some hanging baskets. When I brought them home the girls were outside with their chalk. I told them I had a surprise and they could help out and they were so excited when they saw all the flowers. Chloe (the funny one) said: "Those are just divine!". They were cute little helpers.

We also have some flowers blooming in the front that Leah must have planted.

Colette, the 4 year old, is going to be disappointed if we take down the wheelchair ramp out front. Her favorite thing to do is walk or run up and down it! I won't dare tell them about the hover-round in the garage, they'd love that!

More soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The big move!

If clutter stresses you out you may not want to view these pictures. Although when moving I don't think there is any other choice but to live with clutter for awhile! 

The move started on Friday.. luckily RJ took a "vacation" day so we could get started bright and early. Tyler let us borrow his family's trailer so we didn't have to get a Uhaul which was nice! He dropped it off on Thursday evening so we could start loading it up.

Before we started loading the trailer, we took a few loads in both of our cars over to the duplex. We wanted to save the trailer space for furniture and big boxes.. so we took 3 trips with our cars full. Of course it rained all weekend!

A few days earlier, RJ finished the floors in the downstairs. He did such a great job!! He also finished all the primer which was supposed to be my job. Am I lucky or what? So get a good look at the living room before the move...

Because this is what it looked like after!

The original plan was for Tyler to come over on Saturday afternoon to tow the trailer with his truck and help load up some of the heavier stuff. Our plan was foiled by the rain, which gave us more time to take smaller things over and continue to box things up. He came over on Sunday which was awesome. We wanted to have everything loaded ourselves so all he would have to do is tow the trailer. We did get a great head start on loading the furniture but he still helped load up a lot of furniture. Renee met us over at the duplex and helped load and unload too. Both of them stayed until the evening helping load and unload - we definitely owe these two dinner+!! 

Renee also got some good pictures with her iphone:

It was so windy!

When I was packing I was pretty excited to find a long lost hat and satchel purse I'd been looking for!

The only thing we (ok, it was me) broke was a picture frame I dropped. Tyler had some gloves so he swept up the the broken glass. Renee and I have some good men! I would say only one broken item is pretty good!

So luckily this week isn't too busy for me work-wise, so I can take some time to unpack as long as I'm ready to take calls and emails. I decided to tackle the living room first so we would have some semblance of a "hang out" area even though realistically, we won't be doing much hanging out any time soon. It's fun finding spots for things and thank goodness for the basement! 

Here is the living room now.. still a work in progress but much better!

The next thing I need to focus on is my office. We still need to get my desk put together so as of now we just set up the computer on the floor. They came and hooked up the internet on Monday so at least I can work!

This  is my current work space:

 Very professional right?

Ti likes to sit on my desk while I work so he is disappointed there isn't room for him up there for him. He decided that his new spot is in my lap. Between him and Harvie I always have an animal in my lap or sitting at my feet.

The cats are thrilled they can go outside whenever they want! They are taking advantage of it, but it's been so rainy they haven't explored further than our own yard. 

More soon once we get more unpacked!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Primer and Possum Tales

Because of my indecisiveness and all the sample paints I put up in the living room area, I had to prime downstairs. Here's what I mean by all the paint samples:

As of yesterday when I took these pictures, RJ only had one more strip of flooring to put in. Today he finished it while I worked on packing - can't wait to see it all finished!

Here's all the priming I got done yesterday, RJ finished that today too! Good man.

I didn't have any paint clothes over there so I borrowed one of  RJ's undershirts to put on over my dress. It did the trick.

RJ's parents came over to see place (both halves before the renters move in!) and see a little bit of the town. It was great to show them around and we had a great dinner at a place on the lake with a great view. When we got back and checked the traps we had caught something we weren't intending to trap...

A possum.

 We decided to let him stay in the yard.

I can't believe tomorrow is already moving day! RJ finished a lot of projects today at the duplex but we still have some big things to check off of our list. Painting the downstairs is a big one! 

Tyler is letting us borrow his family's big trailer to move our furniture. He dropped it off tonight and tomorrow we're going to get up early and load it up. The condo renters are moving in until the 23rd, so we have some time to bring a few more loads, patch up some holes and do some cleaning.

Wish us luck - we'll get a good workout tomorrow!

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Floors, New Neighbors and Less Cats

What a great weekend! 
Lots of news and progress so this will be a wordy post!

We were over at the duplex pretty much the entire weekend, which was great. Friday and Saturday we got some painting done and RJ did some prep work for Sunday - new floor day! 

On Saturday RJ had a surprise for me. Remember the hover-round scooter Leah left in the garage? He charged it over night so we could try it out the next day..

It worked!

 I think we had a little too much fun riding it around the driveway. It has an oxygen tank attached so we think we can probably sell it!

Saturday we had a few showings of the rental half too - the first couple who came over absolutely loved it and we really liked them. They are probably in their mid-late 30's and are really laid back and friendly. They have a few young kids including a 10 month old - I was sold! We really liked them personality wise and chatted for awhile about the area (Jason, the husband, had grown up across the street!). We could see ourselves being friends with them and hanging out outside. They came over in the morning and a few hours later they came back ready to write a check for the deposit! There was one other guy (single and divorced with kids on the weekends) who wanted to come see it on Sunday, so we told them we needed to give him a shot too. He never called or came over on Sunday so on Sunday night we called Leslie and Jason and told them it was all theirs. They were soo excited - it made us really happy. They are set to move in May 1st so that is great for us! We think it will be fun to have some little ones around - maybe not as quiet, but more fun and lively. It was more important for us to pick a family we felt like we could be friendly with. So that is exciting!

On Sunday the big project of the day was installing the new floors we picked out from Lowes on Friday. We picked some good quality laminate - wood style. We talked to the flooring specialist at Lowes for awhile and he thought this was an excellent choice for us with renters in the future. It's very hard to damage, virtually un-scratchable and won't hold in smells and spills - unlike carpet!

On Sunday morning Renee and Tyler came over to help out. Luckily, Tyler has a bunch of fancy tools (like a huge table saw they used to cut the boards). Tyler and RJ worked on the floors while Renee and I painted and 'supervised'. It was soo great to have them - they are awesome!

The guys working on the floors.

 The first pieces:

One corner down!

After a few hours:

As you can see there isn't that much more to go before it's done which is exciting! RJ was totally in the groove and wanted to stay and finish it, but by 9pm I was ready to get home. They did such a good job!

While the guys were working on the floors Renee and I worked on painting my office. Here's Renee, my pretty little paint assistant!

Our job went pretty quick - with two rollers and two people it didn't take us too long. Lunch was part of our job, so we went to pick up some Chipotle burritos and a pizza for the guys. It was gorgeous outside, so we actually moved the setee out porch so we could enjoy the sun. It was lovely!

In the above pictures of the downstairs you probably noticed all of the paint samples up on the wall... that is how indecisive I am about what colors to put up downstairs. Renee helped me make the final decision and we went to Lowes to pick up the paint - so no turning back now! She got some fun shots from her iphone:

The light blue/gray tones for the living room and a sample of yellow for the kitchen:

I'd like to do a sunny yellow in the kitchen, with all these hues and tones how am I supposed to pick one? That's why I always get samples. 

You may be wondering about the cats... yep, we have been trapping. So far we've gotten 6 that have been distributed to various farms to become barn cats! After the first 6 the progress has slowed.. I think we got the stupid ones first and now the smarter ones are left.

 There are still a few left that hang around outside. Leah apparently took the two friendly ones that hung out around the front of the house, we haven't seen them in a few days. Definitely making good progress and moving them! 

Another big thing that happened this weekend was meeting the neighbors next door. On Sunday evening a few of them had some lawn chairs set up in the driveway - RJ had met one of them the day before, so she called him over to meet the rest of them. I went over to introduce myself and we all chatted for awhile. They are really friendly and laid back - very Portage Lakes. They told us some funny stories about Leah (like how she used to mow the lawn in high heels, such a character). One of the ladies, Leeann, is the outside maintenance and gardens manager for a local school district, so she offered to help us with our garden and give us some of her extra flowers. I will definitely be taking her up on that offer as we have a lot of yard work to do and I don't exactly know what I'm doing. They said that we were "their heroes" for taking care of the cat situation! Two of them have dogs we met, a lab mix and a Boston terrier. Harvie will be happy to have other dogs around. He has been so cute running around the yard and rolling around in the grass. 

Overall a really great weekend - next weekend we are moving in! That only leaves a few days left to finish the floors and painting.

We think we can do it - wish us luck!