The end, mostly

We actually got to take this sign down weeks ago:

photo 1

The sign off inspector came a day early and surprised my boyfriend. He walked in and said, hmm, it’s a small house, huh? He continued to walk through it and said, You did a good job with it though. Then he walked down to the basement and realized we had a bedroom down there. Ahhh, I see. Not bad. He went upstairs to the tenants’ apartment and said he liked that part best of all. Then he gave us a yellow carbon copy of his final sign off notes and said we could take the permit down. And that was… it.

Our radiators have been humming along just fine for the last 3 months (except for a leaky radiator in the basement):


We also got an automatic water feeder installed from a different plumber (super awesome, we will probably call him to fix the radiator too, and maybe ask him to do something about our banging pipes). The original plumber told us we needed one and he would charge us extra to put it in. As he is in the boiler room rewiring or re-piping whatever thing he did wrong.

Of course the last thing I wanted to do was pay a guy extra who’s had to come back and fix all of his mistakes and then fix the mistakes on his mistake, so I immediately went hunting for a new plumber. Not easy, but I found some good guys. Before the automatic water feeder, we would have to manually refill the boiler tank almost every day to make sure the heat was running, which, really, that’s the default? Anyway, the feeder was necessary and installed just in time since we were leaving town literally that evening.

And then began the flurry of the holidays – us visiting my parents in CA for Thanksgiving, his mom and stepdad coming for Christmas, and just enough time in between to settle back from the last one and prepare for the next. In the midst of all of that, I’d gotten a stress fracture on my foot and was relegated to crutches for two weeks and a brace for two weeks after that.

This last snow storm marked a slight slowing down for us. We spent this last week going on a house shopping binge, online surfing through Ikea and Amazon and Craigslist. We had as many books and DVD’s in boxes as we did on the lone bookshelf we were given, so for some reason, I decided that getting a new bookshelf was a priority. Also, I love unpacking boxes. I don’t know why either.

We had these wooden wall shelves that were given to us by another friend, but when we tried to install them on the wall, we realized we had absolutely no idea what we were doing and gave up after drawing a huge pencil line and poking two holes in the wall. In any case, this new bookshelf thing was a long time coming, if only to cover up our failed attempt at being handy.

So after hours of googling “cool bookshelf” and “awesome bookshelf,” we came across someone who had rested wooden slats on a ladder and placed it right in the middle of her living room and it was, in fact, an “awesome bookshelf.”

I immediately went shopping for a ladder. If this didn’t work out, I guess we’d still have a ladder, right? It kind of felt like a Mitch Hedberg joke, so all the more reason to go for it.

We settled on a ladder that looked the most like we’d want is as a bookshelf (and also wouldn’t mind it as a ladder) and it came two days later. It was this crazy ladder that folded up like this:


It turned out it was super heavy and not actually easy to turn into a ladder. Good thing we were using it as a bookshelf. We put the wooden slats in and stepped back to see if we still thought it was a good idea. Then I got to work unpacking the books and DVD’s. I think we did all right (although somehow our basement doesn’t look any better for it):

photo 4  photo 5

Now we are patiently waiting for a new-to-us dresser from Etsy for the bedroom (another long search that started then stopped then started again when we got to the point where we couldn’t really do all our laundry at once because we actually had nowhere to put it all), which should be coming next week.

And I finally got on the Ikea train while looking for a kitchen pantry online:

Very Ikea. But after such terrible encounters with buying and having to put together furniture from other places – our bed where none of the nails and boards lined up, the bathroom cabinet that literally fell on my boyfriend’s head when we tried to put it together – I decided to stick with a place where I knew at the very least all the pieces would fit together.

Then, of course, to justify the $100 delivery charge, I did my own version of shopping in their lower floor vortex of how-can-I-say-no-it’s-a-spatula-for-a-dollar and somehow spent more money on coat hanger racks and skinny linen closets and plastic bag holders and trash cans that I’m not actually going to use as trashcans, than the kitchen pantry. It’s a good thing I didn’t actually go to the store.

So yeah, I guess this is kind of it. We’ve been settled in long enough that we’ve rearranged the existing furniture in the living room and our bedroom from how it was originally (when we were sure there was no other way the furniture could go). We’ve gotten comfortable enough to commit to large furniture purchases. We even bought a real snow shovel on Amazon after having to shovel the stoop yesterday with a digging shovel (yeah, that totally sucked).

It felt like this project took over our entire lives for so long, and then it just kind of ended. No real fanfare. Just easing into what is now just normal.

Of course now the tenants’ sink is beginning to fall off the wall and collapse onto itself, so I guess it never really ends:

photo 1  photo 2

3 thoughts on “The end, mostly

  1. A tour would be awesome but I understand you’re probably a little over it for now. One thing that could be really valuable is hearing who you worked with (the good ones, anyway). Like which plumber finally added the water feeder? Congratulations on getting all the (initial) work done! Now you get that day-to-day work that never really ends 🙂

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