I wake up. I come downstairs to let Riley out and realize the front door is standing wide open. I close it and go about my business before Riley gets too impatient. I bring him back in and while standing at the top of the basement stairs, the following conversation takes place:
Me: Kid? (Only I say his actual name.)
Kid: Oh. Yeah?
Me: Any idea why the front door is wide open?
Kid: I saw that. I’m not sure.
Me: You saw it?
Kid: Yeah, earlier when I went to the bathroom.
Me: Did you think about shutting it?
Kid: I was too sleepy.
No clue how long the front door was open. I closed it and locked it when I went to bed last night. None of us were murdered as we slept and it seems that our personal belongings are all where they normally are. I’m hoping our living room couch provided a warm bed for someone to sleep on, I guess?
We’re down to single digits when it comes to how many days until we get the keys to our new house. The new landlord is giving us the keys on the 15th (!!) and you can be damn sure we’re not hesitating when it comes to unpacking. Considering it’s only 0.7 miles from our current house, there’s no reason not to haul a load or two every night. We’re really hoping to get all of the boxes and smallish furniture that we can live without on over there, so when we beg/plead/grovel to our friends to help us out on the first weekend of March, it won’t be that big of a deal. It’ll just be, well, the heavy furniture. Two pieces of good news about moving/the new place: the 300+ pound TV is no longer here and a 14 year old can lift the equivalent of a full grown man.
Here’s my list of OMG-This-Stuff-Is-Motivating-Me-To-Pack-And-Clean:
- Working oven at the new place.
- Our bedroom is upstairs; The Kid’s is in the basement. The times I have to say “Can you please turn that down?” will likely come few and far between.
- Room for my puzzle table!!!!!! (As long as The Damn Cat leaves it along…)
- Backyard with grass!
- Big garage with room for building things, which The Kid and I already have plans to do.
- PAID HEAT.
I need to quit wasting time here. I have some emails from Craigslist to return from people that want to pay legit cash money for my two boxes of Beanie Babies, because I’M NOT MOVING THEM THIS TIME.
The three of us went out to dinner Saturday night. Our original plan was dinner at Matt’s Bar and catching a 7pm showing of Moneyball at the Riverview Theater. Apparently everyone else in Minneapolis was in the mood for burgers with molten lava cheese squirting down their throats, because Matt’s had a line out the door. We drive down to 5-8 Club and only had to stand in line a few minutes before we got seated. We put the kibosh on the movie plans and decided to hit a Redbox instead. Dinner was lovely. Burgers were consumed. Football was watched. Then we decided to pick up some candy and ice cream to have our own movie night at home.
We walked into the front porch and it instantly smelled like burning plastic. It smelled RANCID. We headed straight into the kitchen and this is what we found.
We have no idea what happened. We hadn’t used the stove since Thursday evening, so I’m sure we would have noticed had we left the burner on that long. The General pulled a knob off from the non-charred side to try to turn off the stove, but there was no way that was happening. The Kid and I took the animals outside to get them some fresh hair, since they’d been inhaling burning plastic smoke for God only knows how long. While we were outside, she pulled it away from the wall and unplugged it. And then we all took a breathe, because everyone was okay and nothing was damaged past the stove.
Riley was kenneled. Marshall can’t even jump onto the bed without using the bedside stand as a step. No idea how it started. No idea how it stopped. And absolutely no idea how the stove was the only thing that was damaged.
We’re considering ourselves so, so, so, so lucky. I maintain my theory of last week that we have a couple of grandmas and three grandpas in heaven making sure the three of us are safe. Between the five of them, I think they probably have some degree of pull up there.
I called the landlord to give her the heads up and we’re working on getting that taken care of. The General is busy figuring out how to get the smell of charred stovetop out of our clothes, and we’ve been living with the windows open for the past 24 hours and ignoring the fact that it’s a might bit cold for the first time this winter.
You’re dying to read the scoop on our new house, right?
We found out we had to move on January 1 and we got a call from our new landlord last night while we were at dinner confirming that we were approved for the house. Nine days. We like efficiency. And probably had some grandmas and grandpas looking out for us to make sure we weren’t homeless, too.
So anyway, our house is .7 miles from our new house. It’s technically in a different neighborhood, but not far enough away that we won’t continue to shop at all of our regular stores. You know how important it is when you have a specific gas station you like to use, right? Because I do. I still miss my friend from the Super America that was closest to our duplex in Northeast Minneapolis.
- three bedrooms
- bathtub AND shower
- three stories (bedroom on each floor)
- allows Marshall and Riley (landlord loves boxers!)
- garage (and driveway)
- within five miles of my work
- central air (and a brand new furnace)
- fenced in backyard
- less than a block from a main bus stop
- family room downstairs
- onsite laundry (front load washer!)
- ample storage
- in Minneapolis
Basically, everything on our wishlist I posted about last week. Needless to say, we’re beyond thrilled. We clicked right away with the owner of our new house, just like we did with the owner of our current house. We’re visiting Vegas the last weekend of February and as long as we don’t win a billion dollars, we’ll be moving the first weekend in March and we may need some help. If we win a billion dollars, we’ll still move, but pay someone and then be on the lookout for some additional homes in the Key West area and a place of The General’s choosing.
We’re so, so excited and feel so, so fortunate!
Our major plan in 2012 was to add a baby to our family. After we go to Las Vegas, of course. We want to be responsible parents after all. And that’s still on the agenda, of course, but we’re going to be moving before that happens. Our super fantastic landlord is moving back to Minneapolis and since, you know, she owns the house we live in, she wants to move back into it. Makes sense to me, right?
We’ve come up with our list of “deep down must-haves”: two bedrooms, allows Riley and Marshall, onsite laundry, shower, fenced in backyard, on a bus line, in Minneapolis. And we have a list of “in a perfect situation”: two stories (we’ve enjoyed being able to give The Kid his own space, not only in his room but on another floor), garage, den/office/spare bedroom, within five miles of downtown, dishwasher, central air.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but we’ve only had about 36 hours to think about it and we’ve plowed through those seven stages of grief. We’re currently on stage six: reconstruction and working through. But, you know, I guess you need something like this to keep you on your toes. We’ve driven through a couple of neighborhoods already that we weren’t super familiar with to make sure we liked the area. We’re about to get out our Minnaepolis neighborhood map to cross off the places we’d rather not live. Craigslist is already becoming our BFF. So, yeah, we’ll figure it out for sure, but we might be sad until we find somewhere to live. I think that’s a natural response, though.
And, for me, they’re generally 100% unsolicited and 98% annoying. I know it’s good to know your neighbors, but I think I’m still scarred from growing up across the street from a guy who sat in his garage drinking beer 20 hours a day (I gave him some time for sleeping there). There were multiple occasions when I’d come home around 3am (after my closing shift at Taco Bell!) and have some type of a conversation with him. Dude, I have refried beans on my pants. I just want to go inside now.
Yesterday, I’m in the backyard trying to get Garcia and Riley to refrain from barking their fool heads off at the guy that lives directly behind us. And naturally that led into a 20 minute conversation that started with “How’d you guys do over the winter?” How the hell do you respond to that? Great. We did great. Luckily, we didn’t wake up from hibernation too soon and, when we did, we had plenty of supplies leftover. Better than last winter when we had to go foraging for squirrel carcases in our backyard!
I learned from our across-the-alley neighbor that he’s trying to move soon, because his house has decreased so much in value and he took out a crappy loan five years ago. The guy two houses down from him has to be out by May 2nd due to foreclosure. And it’s possible, according to across-the-alley neighbor, that there’s a drug dealer living across the street from us. (More on that later.) He went to California in February and hung out with our landlord for a couple of days; turns out she’s engaged now and they really love living in California. Bonus.
Two hours later, Riley and Garcia decide to open the front door and run across the street to visit the neighbor that’s outside there. (Bad pet owner, I know.) He says, “Hi, I’m Bill” and sticks his hand out to shake mine. I tell him I’m Wendy and he holds my hand a little longer than I’m comfortable with most strangers holding it. (There are exceptions.) It’s 11am and he’s holding a can of Budweiser in one hand. I tell him I like his breakfast choice. He says he’s been up since 3am, so it’s more like his lunch. His wife is talking to the dogs out the window. I finally pick Garcia up like a baby and The General drags Riley home by the collar. Bill tells us that if we ever need help with anything, just to let him know.
I’m hoping Bill, his cans of Budweiser and his agoraphobic wife are the drug dealing house. My second choice would be the house that’s called “Humpatorium” on Foursquare.
Again. This will be the eighth place I’ve lived in Minnesota in, well, 8.5 years. But this is a house and it’s gonna stick. Mainly because I’m tired of moving!
It’s pretty much everything we had on our dream list: fenced in backyard, central air, washer/dryer in the basement, plenty of storage (a basement and a garage).
And then some. There’s a dining room, a huge three-season front porch, a den. The house is half a mile from a brand new dog park. It’s on a dead end road. It’s two blocks from the closest bus stop. It’s half a block from a bike trail that goes all around Minneapolis.
The master bedroom is so gigantic we’re not sure what we’re going to do with all the space. The Kid’s room is huge and he gets to paint it whatever color he wants. We have forced heat instead of this giant gas stove in the middle of the living room.
We get the keys sometime around 11/1 and we’re moving that week. It’s weird how when you live in a city, nobody you know really has a truck. However, if I still lived in Missouri, I’d have access to about 14 horse trailers and 298 full size trucks. I’m still convinced we can strap a queen size mattress on the top of the Vibe.
We’re in the beginning phases of a lot of things right now when it comes to our future, but the main thing right now is looking at moving from the duplex we’re in now to a single family home. The reasons are endless.
We have a list of “demands”, as we’re calling it:
- Two bedrooms.
- Shower (our current place only has a tub)
- Washer/dryer onsite
Yeah, we’re not picky. Personally, I’d like to demand three bedrooms, but I haven’t convinced The General that’s a must have right now. Give me time.
Now our “dang, that’d be nice list”:
- Central air or efficient air conditioning units of some kind
- Fenced in yard
- Storage (basement, garage, whatever
See? Not all that picky at all.
In a perfect world, when I get a 200% raise, we’re going to be living in a 3 bedroom house (complete with finished basement), two car garage, a Butler named Jeeves, In-Ground Swimming Pool, Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink, Stoves, ‘Fridge, you name it. Everything that can shine will shine and Jeeves will make sure it happens. Or else.
I might get carried away. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t tell the difference between Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks and the kind we have now, which is probably something fashioned out of spare car parts that were found on the side of the road, if I know our landlord well enough.
So basically, I’m down for a landlord that’s version of a basement is one that doesn’t smell like mold and consistently have a quarter inch of water standing in at all times, 2-3 bedrooms that are the size we’re currently accustomed to (quite large!), and a backyard that doesn’t look like patches of dirt the second we move in. I’d also prefer a roof. And electrical wiring that allows The General to use a blow dryer.
When we moved into our duplex, the only window treatment it came with was some mini blinds in our bedroom and some very fancy faux-bamboo blinds that roll up in our kitchen. I think our landlord was going for the Caribbean feel or something in there, especially with the palm tree green shade of the walls. Kinda obvious that he opted to purchase our window covering materials at a place like the next door neighbor’s trashcan on trash day instead of somewhere reasonable like hillarys blinds. You know, where things aren’t held together by masking tape. We’re trying not to go overboard with buying new stuff that would improve the look of our current place, like blinds or things that should really be our landlord’s responsibility, because we’re not sure how long we’re going to stay there.
It doesn’t help matters that Riley hates mini blinds almost as much as he hates having his ears cleaned. For the past several months, we’ve noticed he’s developed this ninja-type skill of moving the curtain in the bedroom to the side with his head, and somehow opening up the blinds enough to be able to look out on the front yard. I don’t know how to break the news to him, but absolutely nothing ever happens in our front yard. At all. Except for the occasional dog peeing on the pine trees in our front yard. But that’s it.
So, for whatever reason, my computer decided about a year ago that it really hates being connected to the internet wirelessly. We tried two different adapters for my computer, thinking maybe that was the problem, but neither one of them made any difference at all. The General and The Boy both have full (and consistent) wireless access, so I know it’s not the router. It’s just something about my computer. And really, it’s a good five years old, so it wouldn’t surprise me. At all.
I finally went to MicroCenter this weekend and picked up 50 feet of CAT-5 cable to run from the living room (where the router is) through our entryway and all the way around our bedroom just so I could plug it into the back of my PC. Well, I bought the cable; The General did the rest of it. But I’m so very excited that I can stay connected to the internet for more than one minute.
I see more Instant Watching of my Netflix queue and more photo editing/uploading. The photos? They’re so far behind. I went out and bought a new memory card, just because I hadn’t had a chance to do anything with the 4 GB of pictures I’ve taken since the beginning of the year.
Now, my problem? My hard drive is full. Both hard drives are full. I suppose an external one is the next best option, somewhere I can store the past 11 years of digital pictures and not worry about them going anywhere.