Monday, September 26, 2011

Home Ownership - Day One

On Saturday morning, Bob and I rose not-so-bright-and-early to head over to our new digs. After figuring out the key situation and lamenting over the idea of having to unlock a gate every time we want to access the dumpster area, we entered our condo.

As we assessed the number of dead light bulbs to prepare for our first of many Home Depot trips in this adventure called home ownership, the ceilings seemed to have increased in height. Counting 16 dead flood lights we got ready to pay up for bulbs, all the while telling ourselves that we wouldn't have to buy this many again for at least a couple years (hopefully).
A Lesson in Asking the Home Depot Staff for Help, or Open the Box of Light Bulbs You Are About to Buy 16 Of.
Scanning the aisles at the HD, we found ones that looked right, bought 8 2-packs and headed home. Opening the first box we quickly realized it was much larger than the ones currently utilized that fit into the track lighting. "But Lydia," you say, "you could have brought along a dead light bulb to check against." Oh, we did - we just didn't do the checking against part. D'oh.

The condo building has a 10 foot ladder which came in handy as Bob stretched as far as he could go to change out the majority. There is still a row on the highest section of the ceiling that cannot be reached. When we hire painters to take care of the super high up parts of the condo (I just don't feel comfortable standing 15 feet up and trying to paint) we'll kindly ask them to change out the bulbs for us :-)
With the light bulbs out of the way, we focused on paint swatches. After picking up Behr sample sizes of the Orange Spice, Ocean Cruise and Desert Cactus that we were aiming to add to the master bedroom, second bedroom and hallway respectively we quickly realized we were going too light. I should have noted this when the Home Depot guy handed me the samples and said, "here are your Carribean colors!" Not the goal at all. As we look to go darker, a second challenge is the open ceiling of the second bedroom and how much blue will hit against the green of the hallway. Hopefully won't look like a color explosion!
If You Must Put a Decal Up On Your Wall, Please Take it Down Before Moving Out.
The condo is almost purely unpainted, save for a random red piece of wall in the kitchen and the second bathroom. With 17 foot ceilings I would probably put off painting too if I didn't live for my home decor. However, in what I assume was a gift from someone, our previous owner did have a decal applied to the wall in the entryway. Although I believe some decals can look nice, this one was not my style: a rounded cityscape of some sort.
Picking at the corner with my finger, I saw it would come off very easily. The problem? This particular decal was made up of hundreds of seperate pieces that would not be peeling off in one clean swoop. Oi! Here we are after 5 minutes.
And again after 20 minutes and a long break to curse and run to Home Depot to get our lights and paint samples. I thought maybe the rough end of a sponge or a putty knift would help but they did not.
Finally, the wall was clear and we were just left with some sore fingernails. Have you experienced something tiny and pointy jamming into the space underneath your nail? I sure have!

A New Grilling Experience
One perk of our storage unit being across and down the street from our new place? We didn't have to load the grill onto a vehicle, just grabbed one end and pushed! Sure, it made an embarrasingly ear-piercing noise against the gravel it was dragged across, but whatever works!
Day One and Done! With no furniture or dishes yet, we ran to the grocery store for some disposable plates and cups to help us eat a celebratory dinner. For the first time since May we were able to grill out! I should mention that "grilling out" now means Bob heading down to the garage, opening our personal garage door, wheeling the grill out to the alley and setting up a camping chair to wait it out, but nevertheless. We popped open a bottle of bubbly our realtor gave us at the closing and said Cheers.
And the floors are being varnished as we speak!

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