Sunday, April 27, 2008

Second Day

Spent the second day at my new home. This time wasn't nearly so hectic.

I took a bunch of boxes over this time, mostly the stuff that I had already packed up, meaning not too much that would be useful. Most of it went into the spare bedroom.

Did some cooking, this time better than the absolutely awful hamburger helper. I broiled up some chicken thighs and mexicorn. A few more dishes were dirtied up this time. In the picture below, there is also the can containing the leftover grease. Earlier this year, Raleigh banned garbage disposals, saying it encouraged people to pour grease down the drain. At the time I thought it was b.s. but since it did go through my mind fleetingly, I can see their point.

Last night I lit up the living room after it had gotten dark, and I liked what I saw. Now I need to figure out what I want to do with the room. I am still at a loss, but at least I know the focal point is going to be the brick wall.

The bar is getting itself fixed up, with space for cooking books, adult beverages, and the work area. I really like that piece of furniture!

I have come to the realization that Guinan does not like to be alone in the house. I left for about an hour this morning and she had tore through a pair of blinds trying to get out the window. I think part of it is because the first time I left her there, the carpenter made a loud racket with the sawz-all. To her it was a strange place without me and loud noises.

After the second weekend I know what furniture I want to sgtart moving. Plus I measured again and my king bedroom suite will fit just fine!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My First Day

Today was my first day in my new home. It started the day at my country home, sleeping in on Friday, making a date for breakfast Saturday, and then load up and get into the city.

The two guys working on the home nexy door were there working. I talked with Scott about the deal, materials and what not, and we struck a price. Equipment was hauled over, and Mitch got to work. He started by getting the outline of the alcove for the fridge marked on the wall. I ran to errands to Lowes, and when I came back, this is the hole that I found.

It did get pretty warm for this early in the year, so Mitch stripped off his shirt. I like Mitch the carpenter:

Here are a few pics as it was being built:

We had our book and media club meeting tonight, as usual I forgot the camera. I decided a nice thing would be to review a couple of movies I've watched for the film festival. One I watched and enjoyed is Ready? Go! It is an absolutely delightful film, the star of which is a 10 year old boy who wants to be a cheerleader. My favorite line is "Me? No, I'm a choreographer" and the absolute look of delight in that young boys face.

I think I need to get a handle on the spending, but I just bought a new home, and I need stuff. Like getting a new Bunn brand coffee maker. That is immediate coffee. And water filter. And a new water heater. This one isn't even hooked up to the gas line. But Scott has a plumber who can come by Monday or so. Scott I think must be a general contractor. Here are the numbers for the mailbox, plus the water hose for the fridge ice maker.

Dinner. I had dinner before going to the media gathering. The trip to the grocery store was expensive. And I brought next to no dishes, 1 each of knife, fork, spoon, glass and mug. And the pots and pans I am giving to Jim. But I am keeping them for a short time until everything moves. And I see I need to add the lid in to the mix. The hamburger helper I was fixing (ugh...inset) needed to be covered and simmered. I improvised with the big pot as the lid.

I'm trying to learn how to improvise in the kitchen. Just make do with whatever ingredients and tools happen to be in the kitchen. This got started after I started reading The Improvisational Cook. It's been a very enlightening book. For my 2nd night, I fixed up some chicken and dumplings, part from a soup can, and added chicken from a can. Not too good, but better.

After getting home tonight, I decided I need to screen a couple more movies. One that has been intriguing me was Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror. So using a piece of plywood and the saw horses, I hade a table on the patio and spent the evening watching the campy horror flick. I fired up a candle and then giggled into my hand repeatedly. I suspect this one will make the cut, and be shown as a Saturday midnight movie.

And my final achievment today has been to write up this entry. Lo it is almost 2am and I really need to get into bed so I can go to my breakfast date tomorrow. So this is saving as draft until I get the pictures out of the camera.

It's been a fun day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Well, I closed today on my new Apache home. Per habit, the bank didn't get the figures to the lawyer until the very last minute. But they did, papers signed and checked passed around.

Straight out of the lawyers office, and I beelined to the furniture store. I have been thinking about that bar / island ever since I saw it. The store was a furniture clearance center for Home Comfort, a local furniture chain. The leaf doesn't fit properly, so it was clearanced. Fine, the leaf makes it too big for me, plus it's easily fixed. It was even delivered today. Here it is in it's new home.

Spending so many hours in the house with nothing set to do, I got to explore every part of the place. Crawling underneath in the crawlspace, and it's surprisingly free of spiders and bugs. Went into the attic, which is a real attic with a plywood floor along the entire length. Lots of storage up there. Tore out where a wisteria bush was starting to get a hold onto the fence. Those things will tear down a fence over the years.

So what was the first utility I had started? Not power or gas. Cable modem internet, of course. Which means I now have phone too. Because the cable in the house was so old, they had to run new cable from the pole to the house, and in side the house. But that also means that the big work is done if I decide on cable versus satellite high-def.

The cable guy was a little late, but that's because there was a main gas line break at the loop, and all exit traffic was canceled and even some home / businesses were evacuated. It snarled that whole area up for hours

One problem with older houses is that they are smaller. Everything was smaller back then, including refrigerators. Mine will not fit into it's spot by 1/4" ! So I am going to have an alcove put in for it. Do you see the blank wall on the right behind the bar in the pic? I am going to have an opening put into that wall and push the refrigerator through it so only the doors stick out. It will be recessed into the wall (I've measures. it'll easily fit). Once in place, I'll have the traditional 3-point kitchen triangle of sink-stove-fridge.

I need something done fairly quickly, and there were 2 guys cleaning out the house next door, so I went and asked them. They said they could do carpentry and the one guy asked all the right questions, so they are coming by on Friday to put it in for me. Tonight I called the owner of the house to get a reference, and she is an attorney who represented him in court. But she was generally supportive of him, so we will give this a go. The rule of course is to pay 1/2 up front to cover materials, then the rest when it is completed successfully.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kitchen Bar

Saturday was a very interesting day. I spent the morning purchasing firearms, and the afternoon shopping for furniture. I could have rounded it all out by going to a fund raiser, but I figure I'd already been at each end of the spectrum that day.

I visited several furniture stores, looking at the variety of choices. I have no idea what exactly I want for the living room. I have a bare idea of what I want for the dining room, which involves a table that is higher than the norm. I want a table I can stand at to eat or work, with appropriate stools or benches for seating (bistro tables?). The table pictured was an interesting triangle, but I just didn't like the color.

But one thing that I really want is some sort of a bar area between the kitchen and dining room. There is no wall between the two, so they flow together fairly easily. One store that I visited is for gaming furniture, such as pool tables, card tables, and of course, bars. But every bar that they had was huge, or at least much too big for the area I want to fill. They did have two small ones, but the only acceptable one was already sold.

But I did find this kitchen island at a clearance store. I think it will fit the bill very nicely. It's been stressed, and I like the large working area. So tonight on my way to Durham I am going to stop and take another look and measure it. I will probably put a deposit on it too, to hold it while I decide what I'm going to do.

Furniture shopping. This time I'm going to furnish my home with some style.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Cigarette Butt

One thing always leads to another. As you know, I've been making a lot of lifestyle changes. Getting out and being social is one of the major ones. But staying in and being even more social is another part of it too. And so, risks increase. I've played quite physically with a couple of adult men, some of whom I haven't know quite as well as maybe I should.

Which leads me to maybe a little paranoia on my part. A week ago I found a cigarette butt around the back of the house, Tahoe brand. It was new, not sogged from the rain a few days earlier. And considering that it is quite far from anywhere any person should be found. I got a little worried that I've had a visitor. An unknown visitor to the back of the house.

Which led me to the next step. This morning I visited the local gun shop. It's the second time I've been to that shop, and to be honest, I felt pretty intimidated the first time. I haven't touched a gun since I was 10, not even in the Air Force. This time was much easier.

I didn't really know what I wanted, just that I needed a deterant, and the last word. We told the man that I wanted personal protection, possibly for conceal carry. He showed me a couple of handguns, light and small and fits easily into pants pocket. One was a 38 I believe, something that is brand new on the market and back ordered. And then I asked to look at shotguns.

I've asked several people for a recommendation on which to buy, hand gun or shot gun. There seemed to be good reasons for or against either one. The other night I decided to talk with a friend of mine who is a marine. His immediate response was to get a shot gun. He said that cranking sound as the shell is loaded into the chamber says loud and clear that we're not funnin' around here. That pretty much set the decision.

So, thanks to a stray cigarette butt, I am now the proud owner of a Browning BPS 12 gauge shotgun. One day soon I'll be out on a shooting range getting myself familiar with it, and knowing what it will feel like when it is fired. Yea, it's funny how one thing leads to another.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Per Hour?

I think I've found myself a new job!

bedroom toys