November 27, 2014

Settling in and Getting Ready for the Holidays

It's been awhile since the last post, but that's for two reasons. Being in "nesting mode" has kept us busy with what seems to be an ever growing To Do List, and not having a working computer for more than five weeks was the other problem. At least that's our story and we're stickin' to it. But this being Thanksgiving we get to take a day off so we'll use today to catch up on the posting.

So what's been going on? A lot. Some good. Some not so good.

Well when last we posted, the old house was just going on the market. Eleven days later we had a full price offer but with a contingency of the buyer first selling their home. But everything happened in our favor and we finally closed on the house on the 14th. Unfortunately we couldn't find a buyer for our 10 beautiful koi so we had to let them convey with the house. But we'll be starting work on a new pond in the spring and then we'll start all over with a new batch of koi.

I've spent a lot of time in the barn getting organized. In our hasty move so many things were just parked in the barn and it quickly took on the appearance of a bizarre kind of warehouse. When I realized how much time I was wasting looking for the tools and things that I needed to get other things done I thought it would be best to focus on resolving all that so I could find the things I needed when I needed them. That worked well until the weather got so cold that it was too cold to work in the barn, so lately I've started skipping down the list to items that don't require much "barn time".

But the biggest time sink has proved to be waiting on all the tradesmen that have had to be scheduled for one reason or another.

We've had trouble with our water system; the Nuvo water softener was not meant to get rid of the "rotten eggs" smell of sulfur in the water from the well, so we called the plumber back and he ended up installing two charcoal filters (one for the house line and one for the barn) in our wellhouse. But we found we still had no hot water in the kitchen and a bad odor of sulfur from any hot water tap. Eventually we ended up getting a defective hot water heater replaced with a new one and having a new anode rod installed in the other one. So we finally have hot water available where it's needed and no more rotten eggs smell.

Window treatments, for 21 windows/doors, have been hung, but in the first delivery there was a shade that wasn't what it was supposed to be. (How a pair of grey shades for my studio doors showed up as one grey and one pink is a mystery to me.) But not much later one of them in the living room stopped working properly and was stuck half way closed. (Half way opened?) When a different installer showed up with the grey replacement for the pink one he also found the stuck shade was now damaged along with a couple more that weren't tracking properly and he's reordered replacements for them. Delivery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

There was a glitch with the whole house audio system. It's set up so that (after an app was installed in our cell phones) we're supposed to be able to use our phones as remote controllers to turn the various audio zones on and off and adjust volumes up and down. Well that just wasn't happening because our cell phones were never able to connect to the server on the internet where these functions were available. When we called the company they told us that we needed to increase our bandwidth on our internet connection. So we called our internet service provider and bumped up the speed from 2 to 3.5 "whatever internet speeds are measured in". Didn't help. Called the audio company. Sent a guy out. Still couldn't get it working. So he UNinstalled the apps on our phones and did another download to reinstall them. Now they're working like they should.

And then there was the night the police showed up. Getting ready for bed, we armed the house security alarm. Got into bed and Kirk remembered he'd left something on in his art studio. But when he went over there he forgot the alarm was on so naturally, opening the door triggered the alarm, but having stepped out of the house he couldn't hear the beeping from the alarm panel. Rocki made a mad dash for Kirk's cell phone to turn off the house alarm but wasn't quick enough. So there was another mad dash the length of the house to turn it off at the control panel. Too late again! Then the security company called in response to the alarm signal they'd received. We explained what happened and they said "Oh, okay, but we need to verify that you are who you say you are so just tell us your passcode word." And do you think either of us could remember what it was? Of course not. So they said, "... sorry, but we're required to dispatch the police." Half an hour later the police car drove right past our gate, stopped, turned around and came back just as the second police car arrived. So I got to meet a deputy for the local Sheriff's department and we had a really nice long chat. When Kirk said how sorry he was that they had to come out the deputy said "I'd rather come up here 100 times to nothing than come once to a real problem." What a great guy.

As for settling in to our new place, we move along at whatever pace suits our fancy and it's all good, because now the fall colors are coming in and the valley is looking gorgeous. And we're expecting an infestation of Christmas lights to start showing up any evening now.

But now that the weather is warming a bit the barn is more organized and we'll be able to turn our attention to the house. Should be in a much more liveable space after the holidays, and then it'll be time for other things, like scheduling more tradesmen for fencing, landscaping, an entry at the driveway with a secure gate and other new adventures.

In the meantime, we get to enjoy an ever-changing array of sunsets.