Friday, June 28, 2013

More Photos

So... I cleaned today. That allowed me to take photos of the family room and butler's pantry (now... if I only had a Butler...) You will notice the "built ins" in the photos- we are having the ones in the living/family room removed and most of the ones in the dining room. Some people might think that is crazy, but really they are pretty useless. They aren't very deep and really seem like they were built for books and or VHS tapes.  I just see them as dust collectors, really.  For now I do like having the photo albums on them- but I can find alternate storage for those later. 

The dining room paint color will also be changed, and I'll likely be painting the built ins that do remain in there.

As for life- we keep muddling along. We turned on our air earlier this week when it went from raining to a thousand degrees and you'll never guess what happened... water in our basement! I am so tired of dealing with water issues.  We have the AC people coming next week, gutter people (as not having gutters is part of our problem) and someone to give us some options (finally) about what we can do with our kitchen sink problems.  

Amelia has started softball- first game took an hour to get to and then we got rained out after 3/4 of an inning. The second game took an hour to get to and we played the bad news bears and won 22-2 or something.  The third game we played a well matched team and won 7-4. It's been nice meeting some people and having a purpose a few nights a week.  I signed D up for tennis camp for a week in July and hope to find some swim lessons. But, for now it feels like all it does is rain.

Thanks to everyone who reads and comments- now- if we'd just get some visitors! :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Random Observations

My Boston kids- notice the RS shirt, the Celtics hat and the local softball team shirt. 
Some random observations in the 2 weeks since living here.  We live in Chelmsford, Mass- which is around 30 miles from Boston. We are less than 10 miles from the NH border... so maybe we live more of a NH lifestyle here- I'm not sure. So my observations can't be for "Boston" per say- it might be totally different there.

I grew up in Western Pa- went to college in NW Pa and have lived in Columbus for 16 years. Other than the fact that Western Pa has more "local" eateries and smaller towns, I never felt there was a huge difference in things there. Cost of living was similar, stores were similar, etc.  I have found that this area is very different from what I am used to in the Mid-West (can't speak for any other part of the country).

Nothing is BIG here. The grocery stores are small (even the ones that say Supermarket are smaller than the Westerville Giant Eagle, which I never thought was that big). The Walmarts are smaller, The malls are much more spread out and smaller... it seems most "big box" stores here are smaller by nature. It's very interesting- and causes me to go to more stores! 

Eggs are brown. In my local grocery I can literally only buy one kind/carton of egg that is white. I didn't even bother- I just bought brown. But, they are also cheaper. So, that's good. 

People talk funny. haha. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

No one swims apparently.  Well, that's not entirely true- but public pools are very few and far between. The ones they do have are TINY.  Most people who are into that kind of thing join private Swim/Tennis clubs. We don't play tennis so not sure that will be our thing. Not to mention the fact that there is a wait list at pretty much every club and it costs about 3x what I was used to paying in Ohio. ahem. Guess we'll see what we decide to do. There are lots of public pond/lake/river beaches. And, we are only about an hour away from an Ocean beach. 

They haven't really jumped on the fro-yo craze here. I remember when Orange Leaf opened in Westerville the line was out the door for weeks.  We went to the OL here when it was on it's 5th day and only one other person was in there. We went again last night- same thing.  Also saw a different Fro-Yo place on Friday near where we were eating that appeared to also be new- and also practically empty.  But- all of the farm hard ice cream places do a kickin' business.  Maybe it's all what you know.

They are really really serious about their garbage and recycling.  We got a SEVEN PAGE booklet from the town about our garbage and recycling rules. SEVEN PAGES.  Why can't we just put our trash out each week and call it a day?  Not to mention the fact that our driveway is about 1/4 of a mile long and our cans have to go the WHOLE WAY TO THE END. eek. Stuff you don't consider when buying a house. ;)

Everyone warned me about the price of things here- that it would be so much more expensive.  While some things (like property, utilities and insurance) are- the vast majority of things seem to be the same, or in some cases, cheaper.  Groceries and Gas I thought for sure would kill us and they are actually probably slightly cheaper than Oh (I guess no overhead for huge stores!) Kids activities and camps do seem a bit higher, but not hugely.  So, overall I am pleasantly surprised about that. 

I think that's it for now.  

We found a softball team for Amelia and games start tonight! Yay! Great way to meet people.

Also- I know people have asked to see pictures. I will take some. It's just that the house isn't nearly "ready" or how I want it to look, but it will be a long time before it is. Considering we keep having one problem after another to fix- we haven't had a lot of time or money for "details". Plus I want to live in it for awhile before I decide some things like paint.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

I know it's only been a week- and I think I should probably be proud of what I've accomplished so far- but instead I'm feeling frustrated.  I feel like unpacking is a big case of one step forward, two steps back.  We had all of the boxes unpacked and yesterday they came with what was in our storage unit. What is the worst about that is that we have been living without that stuff since March- so I know we don't need it. It's just more crap to put away!!   With that said, there were lots of family photos in those boxes, and some other "personal" items- but there were also 3 boxes of my hoarder Amelia's "junk". So... more boxes to unpack- more pictures to find homes for.

I don't consider myself a knick-knacky person- having trouble finding stuff for all the shelves for that reason. However I do have TONS of photos. It's my thing- I like displaying photos. However, with all of the windows and shelving (short and shallow) in the house I feel like there is no where to put my photos. So again- one step forward, two steps back.  I know we'll get there and we'll find homes for everything, but I'm an instant gratification kind of gal and I'm not getting it! :)

In other news- I love our hardwood floors- but geesh- I have to get area rugs and small rugs for everywhere! I feel like every day I go to the store for a new rug for somewhere. Thank goodness for Walmart being down the street- I don't want to pay a fortune for rugs I'll probably change out- but I need some since we are tracking dirt through the house.  Again, we'll get there.

And- in unrelated news- I went to Declan's school yesterday to see if he could go spend a day or shadow or something- and I got backed into in the parking lot! Geesh. If it's not one thing it's something else.  But, as luck would have it- on Sunday we sold the trampoline that came with the house. The guy we sold it to has a body shop.  He's already been called and will come by tonight to check out the damage.

Got one leak fixed- have another. Me and Ralph the plumber are becoming BFF's.  He gave us the name of a guy who can hopefully take out our kitchen counter to replace that sink and take care of that water issue.  There is definitely a very small town feel here. It's a nice community and everyone has been very friendly so far.  We hope to make it to church this weekend and hopefully it will be a good fit and we can meet some people.  I really want my kids to meet some other kids (all 3 close neighbors have grown kids) so I thought they could do the church's VBS. Alas- their VBS is 4 Sundays after church and this week is going to be the last day. Guess we won't do that.   Oh well- we'll figure it out.

Tonight some folks from the Powell office are coming over for dinner. So that's great- we get to show the house to someone- I get to talk to someone other than my kids and we can have a relaxing evening not while it's complicated and frustrating at times... life is good.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Getting Settled

I honestly don't even know where to start- I'm taking a break from unpacking- sitting here looking out at the rain (again). Poor kids- they haven't really been able to go outside at all. I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually rain here everyday- but so far it feels like it.  But, I digress.

The house is great. It is very US. I'm still very pleased with Matt's choice. But... like any house- it of course as come with it's share of problems. First being is that it is very common here to not have gutters.  So- since it's been raining and raining- the rain is falling straight down the house and going right into the basement in several places. UGH. Not sure what we can/will do about that- but water scares me.  We also have to have our sink replaced in our kitchen- have my sink sealed with silicon and we've already had a plumber here about a different leak. I hope this is just a flukey thing and we won't have long term water problems. That could be a nightmare!!!

Other than the water there doesn't seem to be any major things we'll need to do right away (we did have to have a 220 line put in for our dryer- but we knew that would be the case).

There is SO much storage in this house it's kind of funny. We are doing a good job of finding things to put away in those places- but I feel like there are so many empty spots. I can't imagine filling them and hope we never do!!! I guess the previous owners had stuff everywhere- but the only room I plan to fill is the kitchen (not hallway) and Butler's pantry. :) It actually will be nice to display some of the stuff that we've had in storage for years. The closets in the bedrooms aren't huge but I have a nice big walk in closet off of the laundry room I can use for off season storage. No more bins and bags- yay!!

As for settling in- we are getting there. I'm trying to do a little unpacking and exploring each day. Today we went and enrolled for school. That's a big step. Yesterday I discovered a shopping center just 5 minutes away and it has everything we "need"- so that was a great find. Best part? It has an Orange Leaf (Westerville friends will understand)! It has only been open 5 days. I feel like they opened it for us!! Of course- we already went!!  I've only met a few people (service providers mostly) but everyone has been very nice. The kids met the next door and back door neighbors yesterday. No kids or teenagers to babysit, but they said the grandma was very nice and the collegish age kid next door was also nice. They did not meet his parents or brother (and I guess maybe he babysits- lol). The kids here are in school until June 25th so hard to say if there are any kids around or not. It doesn't seem like there are any in the 4-5 houses kind of near us.

We do hope that Amelia is going to play softball starting in a few weeks. That will be a great way for her (and us) to meet people- so I hope it works out.

I realize this is kind of rambling, but that is pretty much my brain right now.  Hope to post more (including pictures) this weekend.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Drama, Drama, and more drama

What a saga buying this house has been! But, after much drama- we are officially Mass (I don't dare try to spell it) homeowners!!!

However, in the never ending saga... the movers will not be there until Monday! So- more hanging around and hurrying up to wait. So, my little vacation is extended. Doing laundry at the in-laws today and then hanging out with my family until Monday (even get to visit my big brother K in Harrisburg- life is good).  

So- to recap- sale of house went relatively smoothly- some negotiation which was okay- some minor annoyances with that- no big deal. A last minute bank glitch held up closing on the buyers' end- but sale went off okay. I've heard that the couple is very nice and have a cute chocolate lab who I'm sure is adding to the years of dog hair embedded in the carpets.  It's very weird to know that someone else is living in "my" house- but I'm glad it's a young, friendly couple who will enjoy the neighborhood as much as we did.

Purchase of Mass. house=nightmare. Pyscho realtor, seemingly crazy sellers... you name it, we got it. They went so far as to go to court to file a lawsuit when they thought we weren't going to close on time (which was actually by no fault of ours-if anything more their fault) and after closing the day we said (just later in the day) they would not hand over the keys for 4 more days (2 business days) until the money from the sale actually hit their bank account. They aren't even living in the house and the closing went through. Good gravy.  We had to have our realtor let the cleaners in using the lock box.  Hey sellers of Leitrim Lane- if you are reading this- know that we think you are CRAZY. I hope that you aren't really and were just very ill advised.  I can't wait to talk to the neighbors to find out what these people were "really" like- and not just in the heat of real estate! 

I'll keep posting when there is something more to post about- but for now- we are officially "Massholes" (not my phrase... lol)