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Almost–but still so much to do!

I planned to take the kids on Thursday, drop them off with a church member who lives about 15 minutes from our new house (and only a couple of miles out of the way from our current place to there), and clean. I knew we would be tracking dirt (and mud, unless it stops raining between now and then, which is highly unlikely). But the bathrooms were filthy. I wanted to clean toilets and showers/tubs and counters at the very least. When I got there, I realized that I also wanted to run a damp mop over all the floors, because there was a very fine powdery sawdust over everything (including the walls, as I soon discovered). It was as if the house had been empty for months, instead of having just been floored this week. I know the dust came from cutting the laminate flooring.

My husband had to be at Home Depot half way to the house by 8:30, so he left a little before 8:00. I was almost ready to go, but had the kids, and one of the car tires had gone flat again (it had been doing that–gradually losing air so that it was basically flat every few weeks). We don’t have an air compressor, so I spent several minutes with the hand pump. I think it was designed to fill bicycle tires. I took breaks to get the kids buckled in their car seats, but I did get 30 or so pounds of air into it.

Then we were off. I had to be in Sandy to pick up my Azure Standard order around 9:00. Sandy, you understand, is over an hour from Beaverton. We left a little after 8:00. It was either meet the delivery truck at the Safeway parking lot, or drive probably another 20 minutes beyond to the other side of Sandy and out into the country to pick up my order later. Not something I was in the mood to do. So I was really hoping to get there on time.

But before I had even gone a mile, I noticed that my windshield was fogging up. No problem. I glanced down to turn on the defrost. But I never got it turned on.  When I looked up again, I realized that I was about to crash into the car in front of me! I slammed on the breaks, but there just wasn’t time. Fortunately I was only going 2 or 3 miles an hour when I hit, so there were no injuries at all. It was barely a bump. But my hood crumpled into an upside-down V. I wish I’d had a camera to take a picture. The bumper was made of cheap plastic and styrofoam, and it crumpled up over the hood, effectively making it impossible to open the hood. I sat there thinking, “How can this be happening?” for a moment, then pulled off to the nearby side road to exchange information with the other driver.

Fortunately, she had a better vehicle than I did–some kind of small SUV, I think. Anyhow, even though her bumper was plastic too, it was heavier-duty than mine, and it only had two tiny scratches on it. She took my insurance and gave me her phone number, but she said she wouldn’t report me unless something started to fall apart on the car (which is highly unlikely). She said she had just gotten a ticket off her record, so she could understand why I wouldn’t want this to go on my record either! Which was very sweet of her.

So here I was, a mile from home, an hour from where I needed to be, with a bent hood. I had calmed down a bit (though still shaking from the adrenalin rush), and looked over the situation. The highest point on my hood was only 5 or 6 inches above where it was supposed to be (that would be the peak of the bend). I could see underneath. Behind the bumper is a very sturdy metal frame, to which we had attached a tow-bar to tow the car from Texas a year and a half before. This appeared undamaged. The radiator behind the metal frame also appeared undamaged. In the few minutes I had been there, not one drip of anything had landed under the car. As the lady drove off, I said a prayer. “Lord, You know my plans for today. I’ll give them up if I need to, but maybe it’s okay to continue. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to drive around the block. If everything seems okay, I’ll continue on. If not, I’ll turn around and drive home.”

So I did. I had turned off the main road into a neighborhood, so I drove down to the first intersection, took a right (heading towards home), and then took another right (heading back towards the road where I had had the accident to begin with). On the way I watched my gauges closely, and also took my hands off the wheel briefly to check the alignment. Everything seemed fine. So I got back on the main road, heading away from home now, and continued on my way.

I had not one problem the whole way. I got to Sandy before the delivery truck was done unloading and picked up my order. They were still unloading when I left. I dropped the kids off with our friend, gave her instructions on what and how to feed Manny (since he’s on a special diet), and headed to the house.

The first thing I did there was tell my husband what had happened. He said he had sensed something was going to happen, and he took it as well as could be expected. Then he went to the Mexican guys that were finishing up installing the laminate flooring and asked them, “Would you like to buy our car?” In the end, we gave it to them, partly as a bonus for all the hard work they had done (and hadn’t been paid as much as they would have liked to, but they were nice enough to do it for less). The car wasn’t worth much–we had toyed with selling it on Craigslist for $500 a month or two ago, but had decided to wait.

So now we’re going to be in the country down to one car. Sigh. At least my husband is only going to be working 4 days a week, so I’ll have Fridays to do orthodontic appointments, doctors appointments, shopping if I don’t do it on Sundays… And since we want more kids, we’ll just get a minivan sometime later. We’ll watch for one and see what we can do about saving for one.

But this was supposed to be about the house! Well, the painting is all done. There are a few spots that could use a touch up (where the paint was a tad thin), but I’m not worried about those. We have all the paint cans and tools, so if those spots don’t end up getting covered by furniture or pictures, I’ll touch them up when I get a chance. The flooring is in upstairs and in the living room. Our bedroom is so gorgeous! I can’t wait to get the bed in there, with the bedspread matching the trim around the windows, and make some curtains out of this gauzy fabric I have somewhere in my sewing stuff.

I got our shower really nice and clean. Most of the dirty soap scum is gone–the rest I’ll get a little at a time over the next few weeks. I soaked the toilet with vinegar, and now everything below water level looks new. After we move in and have paper towels (I didn’t have those with me, for some reason), I’ll soak paper towels in vinegar and drape them around the inside of the bowl and leave to soak for a while, then take them out and wipe it down. That should cut most of the water stain. If that doesn’t work, I’ll get a pumice stone and scrub it.

The children’s bathroom upstairs (which opens to the hall, unlike the master bathroom, which is accessed through the master bedroom) is fairly clean, except there were a bunch of paint buckets in the corner by the toilet, and I didn’t move them. But the tub would not get clean. I tried two powerful chemical cleaners on it, but neither one did much. The textured floor of the tub just would NOT come clean. Remember the picture from my previous update? Well, it doesn’t look much better yet. I didn’t even get to the sliding glass doors!

But I did damp mop the whole upstairs floor. My husband needed my help before I could get to the living room floor. I didn’t even plan on doing the kitchen yet, because it’s got a bunch of painting equipment and laminate floor scraps laying around in it.

My husband had rented a U-haul truck to take away the trash (old carpet and other junk) to the dump. It was over a ton of stuff, thanks to most of the old carpet having gotten soaked in the rain! He unloaded the whole thing by himself! Then he took the truck over to Sears to pick up our washer, dryer, freezer, and wall oven. When he got there, I helped him back down the driveway so that we could unload it.

I should clarify something here. We have a very steep driveway. I’m not sure of the angle, but it’s VERY STEEP in spots. There is maybe 40 or 50 feet (total guess-I haven’t measured it) of pavement coming down from the road. Then to the left (as you enter) is the house, with parking in front of the house and between the house and the road. There is some gravel in this area, but not enough. It’s been raining almost every day for the past couple of weeks, so the ground is absolutely saturated. Think MUD.

By burge5000 on Flickr

Okay, not quite that bad–yet! There is some gravel, rocks, leaves, twigs, etc, to give it a bit more structure. But I did slip a time or two.

Below the pavement, continuing on down the hill past the house is the rest of the driveway, leading down to a slab of concrete that used to be a shed near the bottom of the property. The road turns to the left, leveling out some as it crosses the width of the property, then goes down to the concrete slab. Here’s a picture from Google Maps that might help you grasp the concept.

After the truck had been filled with junk, my husband tried to turn it around to drive straight out. But he went down the driveway and got the back tires (back wheel drive) off the pavement, and then he couldn’t get it going again, because it was too muddy and steep. He drove down the hill and around the first bend, where it was less muddy and fairly flat, and tried to get going from there, but he either couldn’t turn tight enough (thereby risking crashing into a tree on side of the road) or turned too tight and got into the really muddy spot on the other side of the road. He finally got it straight enough, but he just couldn’t get it going fast enough to get up to the pavement again (backwards, remember), so finally one of the Mexican guys helped him. He wasn’t afraid to spin the tires if he was moving (spinning in place is another story!), but even then it took him several tries to get up to the pavement! Then he backed it into the parking area, and Rafael drove it straight out of the driveway. We were determined not to repeat this again, especially since later there would be no one to help us! Not to mention that it wasn’t raining the first time, but it was later.

The other thing I must clarify is that my husband, although very talented in many areas, cannot back up without looking over his shoulder. This handicaps him when driving big trucks like U-hauls. I learned to back up using mirrors only when I was 19, a few months after getting my license, but my husband was not about to let me drive the rental truck (after the morning’s accident I don’t blame him), so I stood out in the rain and directed his every move. I used my hands to represent which way to turn the wheels, since both he and I get right and left mixed up very badly (I’ve heard there’s a gene for that!). I had him back up onto the road (since he had driven in nose first again), turn around, and drive into the driveway across the road, then back across the road (which was really not straight across but slightly to the side) and down the driveway. Whenever cars came up, I stopped them or directed them around us. I was wearing bright yellow cleaning gloves and a white shirt, so I made a fairly visible object in spite of the rain. It was a kind of powerful feeling, realizing that everyone was doing exactly as I directed. That included my husband! So I got him backed down and turned in such a way that the back of the truck more or less faced the house, and the back tires, though not on pavement, were on a good bit of gravel, not in mud! He was low enough that we were able to leave the truck and drive the car out when we were finished.

Then the two of us unloaded the appliances. We started with the washer. It is a 4 cu. ft. Samsung Washer. We got it on sale. The salesman said we could wash a king-sized bedspread in it. That means I’ll be able to do fewer loads of laundry. Very nice. And it’s high efficiency, meaning I’ll save water and electricity (and detergent, too!). We got the matching dryer. That washer was so big and heavy! We had to take it out of the box (or rather, the box off it) to get it through the doors into the house and the downstairs room, and we’ll have to take the door leading from the downstairs bedroom off the frame to get it into the laundry room! At least we won’t have to take the frame off! I don’t know how we got that washer in by ourselves, but we did. My husband did most of it, but I think he couldn’t have done it by himself. I’m glad I’ve been doing my exercises!

After getting the washer and dryer into the downstairs bedroom, we had to get the freezer in. Now, freezer is an upright, not very tall (box is about my height), but not short either. We decided to take it up the parking area between the road and the house (since it was graveled and kind of like a ramp), up the two steps onto the back “porch” (just a landing, really), in the door, up the two steps to the living room, across the living room, and down the 4 stairs to the kitchen (there are a lot of levels in this house!). So we did. It wasn’t as heavy as the washer, so we were able to pull it up the stairs. To get it down the stairs, we laid it on its back and slid it down carefully. Then we moved it over to near where it’s going to go (but the slot is full of stuff, so we just left it in the middle of the dining room floor).

Then we brought in the wall oven. This one we just hauled up the front steps and into the house. It wasn’t very heavy, compared to all the other stuff, and we had it on a dolly, so it was really pretty easy. We double checked measurements and determined that we will have to cut the cabinet opening to get it in, but there is more than enough room, so we’re okay.

So… My husband is out there today installing the oven (and maybe the freezer) and cleaning things up. We’re going to move in on Sunday.

So I’m worn out and sore today. Not motivated to do anything. Anyone wanna come help me? 😉


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