Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Countdown

Very soon...

1.) Tesla will no longer have vertical blinds to drive us crazy with.

2.) Neither will she have a coffee table to hide under.

(We've been in a furnished corporate apartment)

3.) We will have COUNTER SPACE.

4.) And a full-sized fridge!  For the first time in four years!

5.) Our things will be out of storage. Including:

               a.) My KitchenAid! Sadie!

               b.) My pastry-cutter! Which I stupidly did not haul out to Memphis!
               c.) My knives!
               d.) My DISHES!!!
               e.) My husband's third and fourth pairs of cargo shorts! (It's been 90+ degrees around here since June, and he only brought two pairs to Memphis because we wintered in Memphis and bringing more seemed silly. O that we knew how we'd have only that which we took to Memphis for our first five months in the spring and summer. Hindsight and all that.)
               f.) My desk!
               g.) My copies of Plain Jayne and Simply Sara! (So that when people ask to buy/ read copies, I'll actually have one on hand. Or, like, fifty.)
6.) No more crazy-loud upstairs neighbors!

7.) No more crazy-loud downstairs neighbors...

8.) No more housekeepers who show up at inopportune moments.

9.) No more housekeepers to take out the trash and occasionally scrub out the guest bathroom tub.  Hm.

10.) Likewise the landscapers...

11.) We'll have a kitchen with an actually, honest-to-goodness PANTRY!

12.) Also, we'll have real-live guest rooms.  With beds.  For guests.

13.) No more Oregon sales-tax exemption...

14.) No more state income tax (and if you're self-employed in the state of Oregon, you know there is a definite ouch factor there!).  Ooh, and LTD tax. For a bus I haven't ridden since my freshman years of high school.

15.) We'll finally have a home. And that is something to look forward to.

P.S. That picture? So totally not actually our house. Just in case you were wondering

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Expecting Disaster

We've been in the process of having a house built here in Richland. There are days I feel our house has been built by Lemony Snickett - it truly has been a series of unfortunate events.

They broke ground in late March. The first disaster occurred when the builder began to build with the wrong interior plans. Unfortunately, we did not know this until after the house had been plumbed, which wouldn't have been an issue *if* we hadn't changed the way the master bath was laid out. (Our real estate agent, if you must know, did not forward the plans to the builder. But that, dear reader, is a sad story for another day). and the slab foundation was poured. The concrete was ripped up, the bathroom re-plumbed. Until just over a week ago, the hole remained, as a reminder that we should be wary.

You should know we have really wonderful builders. The work is very good. Also, they're all either Central or Eastern European, so it's kind of like having your house built by Tom Hanks' Viktor Navorski, though it's possible that Hanks' Navorski moved a bit quicker.

(It should be noted that one of our builders in particular has a very heavy accent, and has difficulty with his vowels. Particularly "e" sounds. "Beat" becomes "bit." So when he talks about sheet-rock and sheeting, read into that what you will.)

We've had to pick out carpets twice, bathroom flooring three times. The carpet was back-ordered, as was the first vinyl for the bathrooms. The second vinyl was simply not sent by the manufacturer - twice. The wrong laminate floors arrived. We picked out a new stove (first was back-ordered). Afterwards, we volunteered to pick out a new microwave hood and dishwasher, all of them in-stock in Tri-Cities, for the sake of avoiding disaster.

At this point, I find comfort in the fact that it is difficult to find back-ordered sod; likewise with paint (the paint was ostensibly applied earlier today. We shall see). All of the light-fixtures, that I know of, have been picked up and/or ordered. When I sent the list, I sent pictures,  item numbers, installation orientations, website links - basically everything short of a store manager's personal cell phone number. So far, so good.

We shall see.

Did I mention that while we've been doing this, we've also had a post-spay surgery dog in the house? A dog who doesn't care that the vet wants her to stay calm? Who isn't particularly worried when she starts bleeding from her incision site, or when said mess winds up on the carpet? Who, before we got her, trained herself to be immune to Xanax (it was deliberate, I'm sure)? Who has *literally* been climbing the walls?

Well, we do.

I've gotten to the point that when I see that I've got an email, I freeze up. I think, "what has gone wrong now?" This happened earlier today when I received an email from the builder's agent that simply read "Give me a call."

Did the carpet catch fire? Difficult to say. I called. I expected the worst.

"When they paint the walls," she asked, "do you want the doors to be painted too?"

Um, sure.

I realize I may be a bit overly twitchy.

So, should you ever decide to build a house, my first word of advice is to expect abject disaster.

My second word of advice is to keep a sense of humor about it. Because at the end of the day, it might be all you have left.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Us - Part IV

Four years ago today, I married my best friend.

When I wrote my second novel, Simply Sara, one of the themes that developed was the idea of home, and how home isn't necessarily a place.

What I've discovered in this past year is exactly how true that is.  Since our last anniversary, we've lived in Eugene, Portland, Memphis, and Richland.  At some point in the future (and goodness knows when) we'll move again, this time across town into our freshly-built house.

We've lived with family, we've lived far from family. But no matter where we are, my home is wherever Danny is.  As much as I miss my family, my friends, and the trappings of familiarity, I need Danny more.  No matter how unsettled our living situation is, as long as I'm with him, I can manage.

The thing is, no matter where we are, Danny's feet are still ticklish.  He still consumes large quantities of ice cream and Hot Tamales.  He still complains when his hair gets too long and it flops in his face.  He still opens my car door.  He still reaches for my hand when we walk together. He's still taller than me, even if I'm in five-inch heels. His smile still lights up his face (I know it's a cliché, but it's true). His hug is still the one that truly makes things better.  We still get each other.  Our "us-ness" remains the same, even if our location has shifted.

He's my home, and I wouldn't have it any other way.