December 7, 2005


On December 5, 2005 the title company finally called to say we closed. I actually had to ask if there was anything else that could go wrong. Really, buying a house shouldn't be this hard.

The title agent confirmed that we are actually closed. It's my house.. well sort of.

Continue reading "Finally..." »

December 12, 2005

Turning blue

Good thing I didn't hold my breath. Without going into details, after a whole lot of back and forth in which I spoke to my realtor, Mr. O's realtor, the county sheriff and a lawyer... Mr. O's realtor agreed that Mr. O and family would be completely out by Saturday midnight and that Mr. O's realtor would meet us at the property and give us a key at 9:30 AM on Sunday. So here it is, I have the keys. It's officially my house. It still doesn't feel real.

Continue reading "Turning blue" »

December 13, 2005

If it's not one thing...

This is precisely why I wanted the POs out sooner rather than later.

Today the new fridge, washer and dryer were delivered. (YEAH!). Marc met the Sears delivery folks. The washer went in like a dream. Marc has already run a load through the washer. He's thrilled with it. I think that's the only thrilling thing about today.

Continue reading "If it's not one thing..." »

December 19, 2005


Friday night, on my way home from work, Marc called to say that his Mother had gone into the hospital and wasn't doing well. Instead of packing boxes and clearing off all the furniture for our move on Saturday, we drove 2 hours to the Gridley Hospital. We arrived at 8:30 PM. His mom died at 12:45 Saturday morning. She was a great woman and will be sorely missed.

On the way to Gridley we called everyone who said they'd help us move to tell them we wouldn't be there.. they all said, "it doesn't matter, we'll show up and move you anyway". We have great friends. I can't think of any way to repay them.

Continue reading "Moving..." »

January 5, 2006

My Big Fat Greek House

windex.jpgThe ants come marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants come marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah...

The pest guy came back today. Marc met him (I'm at work). Marc says the the pest guy "baited" the ants. He warned me that the ant problem looks worse but it's actually getting better. I'm not sure how it could be worse but I'm sure I'll find out when I get home. The pest guy said that the best way to kill the stray scouter ants is with Windex. Who'da'thunk. Windex really -is- a cure-all.. I guess this means that we have to buy Windex tonight.

Marc says he's already cleaned the ant carcasses out of the freezer. I'm so glad. I really wasn't looking forward to doing that. I do wish we'd gotten a picture of it first. That seems like the kind of thing one should post pictures of in ones blog. Ah well.. I'm sure there are plenty of future picture opportunities.

Continue reading "My Big Fat Greek House" »

January 11, 2006


Turns out I spoke too soon. We still have ants swarming the kitchen. Marc's called the pest company -again- this morning. Hopefully they can treat for ants soon. We are madly trying to move out of the rental and can't just hang around the house waiting for the pest company to show up. (Edit: Marc says they'll be out within the hour.. so they'll be able to treat the ants today. YEAH!)

I think we'll be finished moving out of the rental tonight. Well, to be completely exact, I think we'll have all of our belongings out of the rental tonight. We're still patching nail holes, painting and a little bit of repair, but we're almost done. I'm turning the keys over to the landlord on Saturday morning at 9:30. So we better be done soon.

Continue reading "*sigh*" »

January 17, 2006

Struck down by the plague

Yes.. we are down.. and mostly wiped-out. The plague is here and it's not pretty. The only thing I hate worse than being sick is being sick over a three-day weekend. A whole weekend wasted. Blegh.

We're slowly making progress though. Marc arranged for designers to visit with us on Monday and Tuesday. The guy on Monday was named "Anthony". I think we're going to go with him (not just because he's named Anthony). The second designer was an older guy... he never really talked to me. It reminded me of the first time I bought a car. I was buying but the salesperson was selling to my Dad. In this case, the designer was selling to Marc. Marc says that at one point while I was out of the room the designer asked Marc if I was on the papers for the house. Funny thing to ask.. especially when I'm the -only- name on the papers. Blegh. Hopefully I'm this crabby because of the plague.

Continue reading "Struck down by the plague" »

January 23, 2006

Busy.. but unproductive

I'm utterly jealous of other homebloggers I read where they've stripped trim, resized door openings, moved electrical panels, reroofed the ugly 70's addition and gotten a manicure all in the same weekend. I feel like an utter sluff. I got nothing done on the house this weekend. Marc installed the dog door. I'd include pictures.. but I can't find the camera.. obviously it's in a box.. the question is, which box?

A couple of friends came down from Sacramento for the weekend. His excellency Nathir(hehe) came by and made a silk banner. Mike and Catherine hung out for the weekend. Edith came by, went on a raid (World of Warcrack) and then offered Heraldry advice. Then we all went out to dinner and a movie (Underworld - Evolutions Skip it, not worth the price of the popcorn).

On Sunday, Mike, Catherine, Marc and I went into San Francisco to the Shire Cloondara fighter practice. After practice Marc and I went out for sushi at Kitaro for D's surprise going away/birthday party.

It was a very busy weekend.. but not very productive.

March 13, 2006

The tax man giveth, the tax man taketh away

Taxes this year are a wash.

+$3000 Federal Gov't
-$1500 California State Gov't
-$1500 California Property Tax (I paid $1500 when we closed on the house.. still owe $1500)
$0 net gain/loss

I guess it's better than owing thousands to Uncle Sam.. but I would have prefered to have a nice hefty "tax check" to buy stuff for the house.

I think next year will be better. God, I hope so.

March 20, 2006


My Mom and Dad are (hopefully) starting a blog(Neverdone) about the house they're building in Montana. They're kind of shy and a little intimidated by technology, but if you have a chance, please pop over and say "Hi" and something encouraging. I think they'd really appreciate it. I'm pretty sure that after no time they'll be part of the "" family.

For reference, they're building a 3 story Queen Anne victorian that is on the Yellowstone River outside of Billings, Montana. They started building in 2001 and I think they'll finally be moving in this year (2006). The only contractors they hired were the guys who poured the gypcrete for the radiant floor heating and the guy they have checking to make sure the elevator is correctly installed. Everything else they did themselves (with a little bit of help from family and friends). I have such house-envy.

March 20, 2006

Boxes and boxes and boxes...

This weekend I finally figured out why we have no food in the house.

On Saturday I found a stack of boxes (4 of them) in the garage that had all of our canned goods in them. These have been lost in the garage for the last 3 months. This means that I now have a lot of duplicates. For a while I've been saying things like "Gee, I thought we had Pam." and "Gee, how on earth did I run out of mushroom soup?" and then putting them on a shopping list and buying them. Finally it all makes sense. We weren't out, we were just utterly disorganized.

Continue reading "Boxes and boxes and boxes..." »

March 23, 2006

... and HRBlock giveth back

I'm absurdly happy to report that HRBlock screwed up my taxes.

See: The tax man giveth, the tax man taketh away

I went to HRBlock because I knew taxes this year were going to be difficult. I bought a house and I did a cashless exercise of stock options (my company gives me stock options each year because I'm a good employee. I have the option to buy some stocks at $2/share and then turn around and sell that same shares for $14/share. It's nice for quick, semi-risk free cash.. but the gov't takes a big bite of it). Turns out that the gal I worked with at HRBlock didn't know how to handle this either. So she ended up counting it twice as income (overstating my income by quite a lot). I even asked her twice if she was sure that was the way to do it.. she assured me that it was. HA!

Continue reading "... and HRBlock giveth back" »

March 28, 2006

Assuming our roles

I guess I finally feel like a home owner.

This weekend we went up to Portland OR for a cousin's wedding. I'm glad we were there.. but it finally occured to me that I'm thinking of all of our expenses in terms of the house.

"Ah, $122 hotel bill... that's the same as two gallons of paint."

Continue reading "Assuming our roles" »

April 24, 2006

Our first Barbecue

This weekend we had our first barbecue. This is an accomplishment on many levels:
1. We don't own a grill.. and had to borrow one from Mike.
2. Marc doesn't possess the "barbecue gene" and had to dub Mike the grill king
3. aside from being mowed, our backyard was in no way barbecue ready.. and yet we seem to have had fun.. and nothing caught on fire.

Continue reading "Our first Barbecue" »

April 24, 2006


Spring is sprung. That means that here in the Bay Area it's kind of summer like (when it's not raining). The weather has been very accommodating and only rained in the evening (or so I was told... I haven't noticed, what with the sleeping and all). The daytime temperatures are in the 70s.

Just before spring was officially sprung I would come home from work and find the house to be an absolute furnace. It was hot, muggy and thoroughly unpleasant. Every time I declared the house to be "too hot" Marc demanded to know what I'd done with Monica. Pfft.

Continue reading "Humphrey" »

April 29, 2006

A good Saturday

It looks worse.. but it's actually getting better.

Today we ripped out the *yawn* beige carpet in the office. In addition to being carpet in an office/sewing room (a bad thing in my opinion) it was also used as a *ahem* dumping ground by Tiggy. I love her.. but she is a puppy (she's much better now). When faced with the choice between steam cleaning the carpet (the one I don't want) or removing the carpet.. the choice was easy. (lucky you, removing carpet makes for a much better before/after blog entry).

We started with this:
Our office "before"
And we ended up with this:
Office "after". Where "After" is defined as "After today's project" not "After, as in it's all finished"

Continue reading "A good Saturday" »

April 29, 2006

A good Saturday

It looks worse.. but it's actually getting better.

Today we ripped out the *yawn* beige carpet in the office. In addition to being carpet in an office/sewing room (a bad thing in my opinion) it was also used as a *ahem* dumping ground by Tiggy. I love her.. but she is a puppy (she's much better now). When faced with the choice between steam cleaning the carpet (the one I don't want) or removing the carpet.. the choice was easy. (lucky you, removing carpet makes for a much better before/after blog entry).

We started with this:
Our office "before"
And we ended up with this:
Office "after". Where "After" is defined as "After today's project" not "After, as in it's all finished"

Continue reading "A good Saturday" »

May 11, 2006

Vanity at the DMV

Last year I bought the house. It turns out, when you buy a house they want you to have a valid form of ID (especially when you goto the bank and ask for $7k+ check from your account to pay for closing costs). This forced me to again realize that my driver's license had expired in June. I knew about it before then.. airport security gets very cranky if you fly with an expired license.. but I'd forgotten all about it (add to that, since you have the license for 5-7 years it seemed silly to get it for the wrong address when I -knew- I was moving).

Continue reading "Vanity at the DMV" »

May 24, 2006

Conservatory of Flowers

Wednesday we headed into San Francisco to the Conservatory of Flowers. The last time Mom and Dad were in town, the Conservatory was still closed for repairs. This time it was open. We toured the conservatory and then spent another hour or two touring the pathways around the Conservatory. If you ever go there, be sure to walk around outside. It's very lovely.

Continue reading "Conservatory of Flowers" »

May 25, 2006

Slave Driver

Solar lights installed by Marc the day before Mom and Dad showed up. In the background you can see the last remaining cactus in my yard.
Thursday was a work day. Mom and Dad may be on vacation.. but that doesn't mean they don't have to work.

When Marc and I were in Montana for Christmas we helped Mom and Dad to install the stove in their kitchen and to connect and turn on their radiant floor heating (someday the story will be posted over on NeverDone). We figure turn about is fair play. Before they flew in I warned them that there were a few things for which I wanted their help.

Continue reading "Slave Driver" »

May 31, 2006

Purple Puff Plant

A few days ago I posted this picture. We spotted this outside the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate park and really wanted to know what it was. After searching high and low.. and polling many sources.. it turns out this is a special type of geranium. "Geranium maderense" also called the "Madeira Cranesbill".

As luck will have it, it's for sale on June 10 at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate park. I think we'll be making a special trip into the city then. Now I just have to figure out where to plant it.

May 31, 2006

Filoli Estate

On Friday of Mom and Dad's vacation we visited Filoli. (Yes, I know this is now almost two weeks ago. Give me a break, I'm slow).

Filoli Estate (pronounced FI-low-lee) is located 30 miles south of San Francisco and is one of the finest remaining examples of a country estate from the early 20th century. The first floor of the house is open for touring but really it's the gardens that steal the show.

Continue reading "Filoli Estate" »

June 5, 2006

Victorian Walking Tour

On Sunday of Mom and Dad's vaction we went on a "Victorian Walking Tour" in San Francisco. At $20 per person it was pretty pricy.. but the tour guide really knew his stuff. I think we all agreed it was worth the price.

Continue reading "Victorian Walking Tour" »

June 6, 2006

Going Caddy Shack

Our front yard seems to have acquired a gopher (what -is- the difference between a gopher and a ground hog?). We've acquired some type of nasty ground digging rodent who is pushing up dirt piles in the front yard.

Marc went to Home Depot to get the "gopher elimination implements". The helpful staff at Home Depot told Marc that the way to eliminate the gopher was to "fill the gopher holes full of water.. then when the gopher runs out, bash him with a shovel".

It seems a little barbaric.. and frankly reeks of "snipe hunting" but we're game.

Continue reading "Going Caddy Shack" »

June 16, 2006

Screen Door

It's a ho-hum front door. I dislike it because it's so ho-hum.. and because I'm too short to see out of the fan on the top. This means when someone comes to the door, I have no idea who they are until I open the door. Our neighborhood isn't totally scary.. but I'm not 100% comfortable with just whipping the door open at the first knock. Our next project is going to be to replace this door with something with a bigger window on top. I think we might do this on Sunday.
In the meantime, we added a screen door. It was a necessary thing. None of the windows on the south side of the house open.. so as it's getting hotter and hotter for summer the front half of the house (living room, dining room) is heating up uncomfortably. I really have no idea how the previous owners stood for it. Well ok, I have one idea.. I think I spotted an ugly metal screen door in the garage. I have a feeling Mr. O pulled it off to make the house nice for the sale.

I actually forgot about the ugly screen door in the garage until after we'd finished attaching this new screen door. Even if I had remembered it.. I think we would have gone this route. This wooden door is very lovely.. it brings much more to the house than an ugly metal one would.

Continue reading "Screen Door" »

June 16, 2006

Look Ma, Daisies!


When Mom and Dad were here we pulled out the (nasty horrible) cactus in the front yard and replaced it with daisies (see: Slave Driver). I -LOVE- daisies.

Continue reading "Look Ma, Daisies!" »

June 18, 2006

Instant facelift

If windows are the eyes of a home... what is the front door? The nose? Mouth? No idea.

In any case, our house just got a whole lot more character. YEAH! A new front door. I'm giddy about it. Everytime I look at it, it makes me smile. How long does that last?

I know it should have been something I left well enough alone. I know when my realtor sees it he's going to sigh and shake his head.. but really, I couldn't stand it anymore. I needed a new front door. I needed it. I did this for me. Not for any future home sale. The gremlins made me do it.

The old door had a fan of glass at the top of the door. It was nice.. if a little boring. The biggest problem I had with it was that I couldn't see out of the glass parts. This annoyed the heck out of me. I contend that it's because the glass parts are set too high in the door. Not because I'm too short. (Marc says I'm too short. What does he know?*)

I can see out of the new door. It sparkles and lets tons more light into the living room. Hell, I think it even makes the room look bigger.

Continue reading "Instant facelift" »

June 29, 2006

Best Birthday Gift -Ever-

Truly the best birthday gift -ever-. Useful, entertaining, arobic ;)

Tuesday was my birthday. Mom & Dad sent a box of gifts for me. I was good and didn't open it until my actual birthday. One of the gifts was this flyswatter (Electric / Electronic Fly Swatter).

As we were putting batteries into it Marc looked at me with a mischevious grin and said "I know you want to touch it". Now the truth is, I did. Kind of like rubbernecking at traffic accidents... or being unable to look away from the screen during a horror movie. I kind of did want to touch it. I told Marc, "Nah-huh. You touch it first.. maybe then I'll touch it"

Continue reading "Best Birthday Gift -Ever-" »

October 9, 2006

Acquiring Curb Appeal

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

In the beginning:
This is the picture that was on the flyer for the house

This is a picture of the house before this last weekend

I included the "where we started picture" because Marc keeps trying to tell me that there's no way the big scraggly pine trees in the front yard could have grown 3 feet taller over the last year. I say they're tons taller and "gots to go".

That said, the actual news is: Marc (and Brandr) removed the fence from the front yard this past weekend.

Continue reading "Acquiring Curb Appeal" »

November 15, 2006

When the mood strikes.. run with it.

On Sunday for some reason Marc and I were talking about gifts.. I reminded him that I wanted a vacuum cleaner (it was on my Christmas list last year.. and on my birthday list.. and was quickly heading towards my Christmas list for this year). The house has hard floors throughout.. except for the area rugs. We've made it a year without a vacuum.. but the rugs were filthy.

He immediately declared that he refuses to buy me a vacuum cleaner (no matter how much I want one). He said nothing I did could make him get it for me. Then he made me watch this video:

Continue reading "When the mood strikes.. run with it." »

January 4, 2007

Ho Ho Ho Holidaze

Christmas came, Christmas went. It wasn't pretty. About two weeks before Christmas I got food poisoning.. and then my body decided that all food was bad. So I spent the entire holiday sick and not eating. It's a great way to lose weight... as long as you don't mind the not eating.

In better news.. Santa was good to us and brought us a tablesaw! Sweet! Count on the fat guy to generate lots of Christmas cheer. It's a Ridgid tablesaw that folds up on an integral dolly and stores really well. We plan to get -tons- of use out of it.

Continue reading "Ho Ho Ho Holidaze" »