Our new roommate

I’ve been quiet for almost 2 1/2 weeks because there was a LOT going on and I didn’t have the energy to write about it. But tonight I’ve got some time so I’m going to try to catch up on some of that.

The primary news is that we are continuing the long tradition in our family of helping out people in need. A friend of ours was in a bad situation in Indiana and needed a way out. So Justin drove up there a few days before the 14th and collected her. We’ve worked it out with the apartment complex and she’s living in the other bedroom in our apartment for a little while, until she can get back up on her feet. I’m not going to go into what Kay’s story is because it’s her story and she’s very private about it. She’s also not fond of having her picture taken, so you might not ever see a photo of her. But she’s moved in here now, with the few things she brought with her from Indiana, and feeling so much relieved that for a few days there, she’d just start laughing or crying, just because she was so relieved to be out from where she had been living.

So we’re all getting used to having each other as roommates. Learning just how much water that water heater can hold. Taking turns making dinner because she also really loves to cook. Learning how we handle different emotions spilling over.

We shuffled all the furniture around in the house so she’d have a bedroom for herself. Our bed went into what had been the office. The office moved to the dining room and the living room, the dining room table actually went into Kay’s room for a while because one of the things she did manage to bring was an enormous computer and 2 monitors, but since we didn’t have an extra desk or, really, space to set up the dining room table, that’s currently living as her desk. We’ve been eating dinner around the coffee table in the living room.

So it’s taking some adjusting, for all of us. But she desperately needed somewhere to go, and we had space. She has the freedom to consider even having a future again, and we’re happy to help her get there.

And that’s the biggest thing that’s been happening! I’ll write more again soon.

More reasons why I’m glad to have a garage

Because my garage looks like this right now.

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And my dining room looks like this.

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And my living room looks like this.

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And it doesn’t look like this.

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Now, granted, there are more pieces of wood in that photo than there are out in my garage right now. This has some of the pieces for the bed that we made and not just the bookshelves.

I’m adding a coat of polyurethane to the bookshelves that we built before Grandma Rose came to visit us last Christmas. We ran out of time and we weren’t really sure we wanted to coat them. But mostly, we really ran out of time. And we decided the next time we had them apart, we’d figure out if we wanted to poly them. Well, after trying to dust them for a while not coated, I decided that I wanted to coat them because they’d be MUCH easier to keep tidy that way. Plus, I think the wood would stay nicer. And hey! We had to take them apart. So I’m trying to get that done before I head out of town.

Most of the pieces in the recent photos have polyurethane on one side, but some have a coat on both. I need to finish coating the ones that are only halfway done and sand all of them with a fine grit sandpaper. I’m not sure yet if I can do that with the electric sander — it might be TOO powerful for this. So I’ll probably have to do all the sanding by hand, which is ANNOYING. And I have to make sure I have a good mask so I don’t inhale all sorts of polyurethane dust. And then I’ll coat them again, hopefully before I go to California, so they have a full week to sit before we put them back together again and put books on them.

Although, we might hold off a little longer before putting them together again because when we made them last year, we didn’t put ALL the shelves in. We left the top two off because they were going to go further, overhanging the guest bed in the room, and we couldn’t afford all that wood at that time. Now, the shelves would be smaller, the same size as all the rest of them, but we would still need to buy the wood, sand it three times, condition it, stain it, poly coat it, sand it again, and poly coat it one more time. And if the weather is nice and dry, we might be able to get all that done in a couple days. But we’ll talk it through once he’s back home again.

This is what those shelves look like when they’re all put together, by the way.

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Isn’t the paint on the walls in that room just AWFUL? She said it was supposed to be faux leather. Ugh. More reasons why I’m glad we moved! Did you see the beautiful red in the living room and dining room?

Also, if you were wondering, it’s been almost 30 days since we did our walk through with our landlady and we have NOT YET received our security deposit back or any letter saying anything about it. It’ll be 30 days on Monday. Anybody else NOT surprised?

 

Garage organized!

So we decided to get a garage to go along with our apartment, because as it turns out, the bikes don’t fit in this place as well as they did at the last one. And we have a bunch of things that I didn’t really want to keep in the closets in the house (weed whack, for example). And the additional rent wasn’t that much, all things considered.

Looking from the sun room, out toward the east-ish, this is the view that I get. The third garage from the right is the one that we’ve got. So it’s really quite close to the apartment. You can’t see the entrance in this photo, but you are able to see it from the office window, so we can see if I forgot to close the door or anything. :)

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Looking over toward the garage

And this is what it looks like when the door is open and there’s no car inside it!

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Looking into our garage

You can see that the bikes are already on the rack along the back right-side wall. Justin made sure to get that up before he had to head out of town. The rest of everything was just piled in the back, enough that I could fit the car in, but not in any organized sort of way at all. There’s still work to be done, but it’s looking MUCH better than it was.

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Unit on the left-hand side

This is the rack that we discovered we’d left most of the pieces behind when we moved. At the town house, this took up the entire space that was available in the back closet. Everything that wasn’t water heater. We took it back down once I got really nervous about the fact that it meant I could not at all get to the fuse box if something were to happen. It looks almost tiny in this space!

The top shelf currently has two boxes that are filled with vacuum suctioned bags of woolen packing blankets hiding behind the extra beach chairs, bookie board, wake board, and tent for use at the beach.

The second shelf has the stuff for staining wood and that type project and then has car stuff (car wash bucket and extra engine fluids) along the back.

The third shelf down has a few things for gardening, some things for the bikes, a plastic tub with things that we take to the beach (sand auger for the umbrella, plastic buckets and shovels), the shop vac, and the grill and charcoal chimney.

The second from the bottom is obviously full of boxes. This is not where they are going to stay. I just haven’t figure out what to do with them yet.

And the bottom shelf has more boxes and underneath that, the bike rack that doesn’t work on my car, but we’re keeping in case we ever get a car that it does work on (hatchbacks require a special type of rack, I guess).

To the left of the big rack is a shelving unit that’s holding the old flower boxes that we used at the apartment when we got married to actually hold flowers over the edge of the balcony, and used inside the storage closet at the townhouse for storage. Eventually, they will hold flowers again. But for now, the top one has toys in it (racquets, balls, Frisbee), the second has yard working stuff (string for the weed whack, sheers, hatchet), and the bottom has soil in it.

Along the back wall in this photo are our two lawn chairs that we use when we go to the beach or to the drive-in. I’d like to eventually put them on the shelf where the boxes are located, but that won’t happen until I figure out what on earth to do about the boxes, obviously.

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And to the right-hand side of the garage…

This other shelving unit wasn’t one that I knew that I had until I’d put the other one halfway together and discovered the parts didn’t all go together. We don’t have any wood for the shelves, but that shouldn’t be too hard to fix later — Justin can cut nice straight pieces of wood using his circular saw, but I’m not touching that thing. Meanwhile, I’ve made as much use of it as I can without those supports.

The top has the weed whack, the basket thing that I’d use to collect leaves or trimmings, and something else I can’t remember right now.

The second shelf has our beach umbrellas. I am a pasty white person. I need shade at the beach.

The bottom has the cooler, obviously, but the boccee balls and another tent are in there. I don’t know how we ended up with so many tents. The blue box has . . . crud, I can’t remember right now. And then there are two lights on top. The house light is listed on Craigslist, but so far, no one is interested. We might just end up keeping it since it doesn’t take up much space.

It bugs me that I can’t remember what’s in that box….

The dolly is tucked up close to the shelving unit and then two stands for pots are there for whenever we get outside plants again. The tub for the charcoal is under the bikes for now. I’m not sure I like it there. It’s empty right now, but we’ve got outdoor areas where I could grill here, so I’ll probably end up filling it again in the spring.

The “implements of destruction” are along the wall and those I do want to hang up eventually. I’m not sure if we’ll get more pieces to hang them on the same unit as the bikes or if we’ll do something else.

And then the saw horses are along the back wall.

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Rar!

And our gargoyle guards the entrance, like the good guardian beast that he is.

And our car isn’t very big, so it’s easy to fit in there. Even with the car pulled in with good space behind it, there’s still a lot of space in the front to putter around without moving the car.

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With the car enclosed

I don’t have a very good shot with the car in there, because unsurprisingly, it’s hard to get a shot of that. But it doesn’t feel at all cramped. The doors can’t open all the way, but that’s to be expected. That we can get in without any trouble is really nice, though.

I need to go back out and label the boxes, because obviously I already can’t remember what’s in all of them. And I like to have things nice and tidy and labeled. And I have to figure out a way to store the boxes that keeps them off the floor (possibility of flooding in there) and reduces the amount of humidity that gets into them, as well as keeps out the bugs. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do.

But for now, we can find the things that we want to be able to find and I can pull into the garage without worrying that I’m going to run something over. Eventually, I’d love to have a tool bench in there for Justin. There’s space enough for one along that back wall.

And there’s you have it! Our garage.

Well, this wasn’t what I thought today was going to bring

Today did not go exactly as planned. And in the long-run, that’s going to be good. But in the short-term, it’s really annoying.

I decided to sleep in and not try to go church hunting on my own. I thought I’d get up and do some yoga instead. So, I went to go look for my yoga mat, thinking it must be in the closet in the bedroom where all the rest of my yoga stuff was located. And I was able to get to most of my stuff just by reaching, but I couldn’t find the mat I was looking for and eventually I went “Fine, I’ll just take everything out of the closet.” So, I took before photos so I could actually do before/after shots.

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Bedroom closet, at the beginning of the day

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Bedroom closet, right, beginning of the day

And it was a good thing that I decided to take everything out because when I got to the floor in the corner, this was what I found.

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Mold. 

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Oh, so much fun.

Remember back when we moved in and the air conditioning wasn’t working? Did I talk about that? It wasn’t cooling below 76*, no matter what we did. And then the neighbor downstairs called in that they were getting an increasingly large brown spot on their ceiling. So, long story short, the back of our unit was iced up and dripping water downstairs and they fixed it right away.

Unfortunately, none of us thought to think about what would happen to all that water once the ice melted. And what happened was it decided to grow mold.

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More mold, another closet.

And yeah, it’s behind the a/c unit and the water heater in the utility closet on the other side of the bedroom closet, too.

So, as soon as the leasing office opened at 1:00, I went over there to talk with someone about it. The lovely woman working today said that she’d put in a work order right away and someone would contact me about it tomorrow. And it was possible that they were going to need to tear out the drywall and redo the walls. So, you know, please make sure that the closet is empty.

Oh, that’s the easy part, I thought. It’s already empty. It’s navigating through the mess in the bedroom that’s the problem right now.

Anyway. My other plans for the day mostly went okay. I planned to finally meet up with the woman who wanted to buy the ceiling light/fan that we listed on Craigslist and she actually did make it this time. So that’s finally out of the house and I went and spent most of the money in Lowe’s on things for another project I’m planning to do soon-ish.

After that, I went to the grocery store and picked up things for dinner for the next several days, since I have several recipes I’d like to try out and had to get the stuff for that. I have to remember not to go grocery shopping around here on Saturdays and Sundays, apparently, because it’s CRAZY BUSY.

I got home and took photos of the garage to show off to all of you. And, not to be a tease, but I’m going to put them up tomorrow in a dedicated post just for them instead of cluttering up this one with too many pictures. And because this is getting kinda long and I’d like to go make dinner.

But I’ll put them up tomorrow.

And then I worked on cleaning off the bed with all the stuff from the closet so I can actually sleep there tonight.

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Mess of a bedroom

My bedroom is such a mess right now. But at least the closet is empty! Or at least empty enough that they shouldn’t have problems with it.

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Closet left, end of the day

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Closet, right, end of the day

Maybe the only thing I really feel good about is that I finally got felt for the bottom of the kitchen stools and got that on so they no longer scrape the floor when they’re moved. That thing I got done. Everything else? Well, I’m going to keep working on those things.

Saturday status

It was another exciting day! And I want to type this, but I’ve got a headache so I’m not writing well and not going back to edit. Sorry about it not making a lot of sense. :)

I went to my chiropractor appointment in the morning. Our chiropractor, Dr. John, is a wonderful friend who make sure to let me know that if there was anything I needed, just to give him a call. But not if there were robbers because it’ll take 45 minutes to get there and I should just call 911. :) But for anything else, he’d be happy to help.

After that, I went to Auto Zone and picked up a set of new wipers for my car and got those changed out, with some help from the wonderful staff there. I wasn’t entirely incompetent. She had trouble figuring it out, too. The mechanism is just weird on my wipers. I can get them ON just fine. It’s just getting the old ones off that’s complicated.

And then I stopped by the old house and met the new tenants. When we went to set up the shelving unit before Justin left, we discovered that we’d left several important parts in the back closet at the town house. Our previous landlady said she was planning to clear out the stuff in the back closet when she came back again, but I don’t think she ever actually went back. And the reason we didn’t grab them was because there were several things back in that closet that belonged to her and we were leaving her stuff alone. But our shelving bits got lost in there, too.

Anyway, I stopped by and introduced myself and said that it was a long shot, but could we check and see if those parts were still in there? And he said sure, but it’ll be kind of tricky because it’s full of stuff. And I said, why don’t I call my husband out in California because he knows where they’re at in there. So I called and Grandma Rose answered and said that Justin was on the roof, but just a second and she’d see if she could get him. So he got down off the roof and I told the man in the closet where to look and he was able to find all the parts I needed for our shelving unit!

I had a lovely chat with our previous neighbor while I was there. And then I drove home and had a really wonderful chat with Mom.

After having some lunch, I went out to the garage and worked on setting up the shelving unit, which turned out to actually be TWO different units, one of which is missing some parts and has one extra part. Go ¬†figure that one out. But all the pieces for the one that I expected to have were there and I was able to put it all together and into the spot in the garage where it’s going to stay. And then I worked on cleaning up that mess.

I really should remember to take “before” photos, but I forgot. And I don’t have an “after” photo yet, either, because I’m not done.

I took a break in the middle to have a fantastic conversation with Erica. I pulled out a lawn chair and sat in the garage while we chatted.

And I got pretty far on the garage. Things are mostly where they’re going. Tomorrow I”m going to find some of those suck-all-the-air-out bags we’ve got in the house somewhere and take them out to wrap up the wool blankets we’ve got as packing material. They mostly fit in the tubs I’ve got them in, but this will make sure they really fit and then also keep out bugs and moisture. And I haven’t got shelves for the one unit, so that’s just going to have to wait until Justin gets back, I think. And the boxes that we used for packing are all out there, but I have to find away to make them bug and moisture proof yet. And then figure out where to keep them. I should get it looking mostly done tomorrow afternoon.

And I only broke one thing — a big pot that we’d brought from the old place to use again eventually. I accidentally knocked it over and it split in half. And I only scrapped my finger up a little bit when the box on the top decided it didn’t like it’s location. Bled like mad, but it’s fine.

After deciding I’d had enough of the garage, I came inside for a rest and watched some TV. And then I worked on a list of what I could make for dinners for the next several days until it was time I went to meet the guys from work’s Long Beach branch who are staying in my apartment complex for a few weeks while they help out my department at work. They arrived after the office had closed, so I had their keys to their apartment.

I was supposed to also meet up with someone who wanted to buy the light I had listed on Craigslist, but that didn’t happen. We’re going to give that another try tomorrow.

And that was my day!