Housewarming Party!

Some of the girls at work are organizing a housewarming party for Ted and I! It will be Saturday, March 31st from about 5pm until the cows come home. We're inviting people from both of our jobs as well as a few scattered friends we've made down here. Of course, everyone from up North is welcome to come, but I have a feeling most of you will be no-shows. :)
At any rate, it will be fun to show off the house--only a few people have actually seen it so far. If you're in the area, be there or be square!

I've been totally slacking about posting lately...mainly because I've been enjoying coming home and relaxing instead of unpacking and cleaning! All is going well at the abode and we are settling in nicely. We've got our routines down again, which is nice. I'm excited for warmer weather so we can get outside and do some landscaping stuff. We still have a some organizing to do in the garage, which I think will be one of my weekend projects. I want to put up some shelves and really get things straightened up and put away. I bought a bike rack thing for our bikes this weekend (which we noticed was on sale as we perused the Sunday paper that was delivered to our door), but have yet to put it together. Given my track record with putting things together, however, perhaps I'll be able to persuade the man of the house to do so. He kept himself busy on his day off last week fixing my bike for me though, so I guess I should probably take the initiative on getting the garage cleaned up. He even tried to salvage my rusted chain by cleaning it with a toothbrush for me! So sweet!

I've decided to start a new hobby--screen printing. I have a kit on the way in the mail and will hopefully be making my own fabulous cards and shirts soon! I'm so excited. I kept seeing all of this cool stuff online that other people are making at their houses and got totally jealous and feeling inferior in my creativity. I found a great "how-to" article online and am obsessed with trying it. She makes it sound so easy!

In floor news, we are still waiting for one estimate to come back (that reminds me I need to call that guy) and are also waiting for the service report from Lowe's. I'm supposed to have all of this to them in 30 days, which is quickly approaching. I have a feeling that's how they'll get me...I'll get the stuff to them on the 31st day and it will all be null and void. Gah.

We went to a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game tonight and hung out in the Duke Luxury box for what will most likely be the last time (tear...). Ted's new job starts in March and we can only hope that they have a luxury box and will give us tickets to it. We shall see. It was fun while it lasted though.

I've joined the homeowners association yahoo group and recieved the following urgent message the other day. Uh oh. Problems on the Neighborhood Watch (NHW, in cool homeowner lingo) homefront!

Please be ALERT!!!!

Just as an FYI, I was informed this morning by Beverly,
Coordinator of Argon Hills, that one of her NHW Signs was found
upside down on the pole. Someone had removed one of the bolts and
apparently was trying to take the sign. We have lost one sign already
in Argon Hills between August and December. I just
wanted you to keep an eye out on your signs.

Teddy has diligently been standing guard...



Our friends Jackie and Jeff were due to fly in Friday afternoon. Jacks called me at noon saying that the weather was too bad and their flight was delayed. Due to all of the delays they would miss thier connection and there were no other flights with any openings for them. So, they drove! I figured they'd get here around 10 or 11 that night. They ran into the I-81 debacle in Pennsylvania, however, and didn't even make it to Philly until 7pm! Poor things! They drove the whole thing anyway and got here about 3:30am. To my surprise they were up and dressed before Ted and I the next morning and in tip top shape. The four of us ventured out to some local shops and got some eats. We then wandered around the Duke campus for a bit and our friends were THRILLED to meet some of the crazy undergrads that camp out for free tix to the games. We even got to go into Cameron Indoor Stadium and take some pictures while it was fairly empty. They had tickets to the Sunday game and had an absolute riot in thier sweet courtside seats. We did a bit more exploring the rest of the weekend along with a lot of catching up and hanging out. It was a really great time and I was sad to see them go. It was so nice having another couple to pal around with! I've tried to describe to Jackie how pretty the Sarah Duke Gardens are in the spring, so hopefully they'll come back soon to check it out! Here's some pics from our adventures:

Haven't done much house-wise lately, but it's been a welcomed break. We've caught up on some movies and have finally been able to enjoy just "hanging around the house."

It was gorgeous weather down here today and I was able to finally retire my winter coat for a bit. I got home from work, put my stuff down, and saw that it has started raining out. It came as a bit of a surprise because the sun was still shining away...which can only mean one thing: A RAINBOW!! Ted and I ran outside and saw this beauty right outside our door. After a couple of minutes it turned into a double decker!


Operation Domestication Part Deux

It's 1:34am on Friday. I should be sleeping. Instead, I just got done hanging curtains. Ted and I took a wee bit of a nap after dinner (read: passed out until after 9pm) so I had a lot of catching up to do. I battled with a Target console table for a good 2-2.5 hours, and still had cleaning and organizing and curtain hanging to do! I think Ted has officially banned me from putting things together, but fortunately, I think that was our last project for awhile. When we first moved in together he used to pick on the majority of my furniture because I would get tired of putting things together halfway through and it became very obvious. Screws and nails would be crooked, pieces of wood would be haphazardly put in place. When putting together the armoire for the bedroom I even omitted some pieces and just threw them out. This boggles Ted. I try to explain that I just wanted the armoire to put my TV on, so I didn't care if the shelves inside of it were put together correctly. Or at all for that matter. He just shakes his head and calls me "Geri Junior."

At any rate, he had a book report to write for school tonight and our new console table arrived today, so I decided to have at it before he knew what I was up to. Before long I was grunting and groaning and breaking things and denting wood. I finally finished and realized I had put the backing on backwards...so the ugly cardboard color was what you saw when you looked at the shelves. I think it was at that point that he seriously banned me from putting things together again. I was able to fix it though, and I think it came out pretty good despite my mishaps. A little wood wax stuff and you can't really even see where I gouged it with the hammer (in 3 spots). I fancy myself a carpenter.

So, our company arrives tomorrow (weather permitting) and the house looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I made curtains for the guest bedroom last night and hung them tonight. I think they are adorable and I love the pattern, though I was just informed by Teddy that our friend John isn't too keen on it. I informed Teddy that he is no longer invited to sleep in the guest bedroom. He's demoted to the futon now. The curtains were made from another bedspread that I bought (got them at Urban Outfitters) and it was super easy to make them because most of the edges were already trimmed. Gotta love that.

In home disaster news, we got our first estimate for repairing the floors today. Well, the lady came by to check it out anyway. She says there is a small chance that the damage could get better with time, but also said that the wrinkling could cause the wood to wear faster in that area as well. She's going to type us an estimate for the repair though. Oh! Get this! I got the letter from Frigidaire yesterday, and along with photos, estimates, and the service invoice, they also want the ACTUAL PART that was broken. Have you ever heard of such a thing? They also politely "invited" me to take the matter up with my homeowners insurance. I'm going to politely decline this invitation. I have a snarky letter to Mary already written in my mind. What a pain this whole thing is. Of interest, however, Glenda from the floor place said she's going to put in a claim to the floor manufacturer too. I'm not quite sure if this means she thinks they'll pay for damage, but whatever floats her boat. She also said it's pointless to get another estimate, as that company would not have access to the dye lot information and if they used wood from another dye lot it would totally be noticeable. That's not going to fly with Frigidaire though ("Glenda said I didn't need a second estimate...") so we're going to get one anyway.

Okay, I seriously have to go to bed. It's no good cutting people on only a few hours sleep...

Here's some pictures of finished rooms!


More Curtains!

I made some curtains for the french doors in our bedroom. Fun!

Operation Domestication!

We went to Lowe's together Friday night (the new date night?) and got a bunch of supplies for our weekend projects. I was feeling sassy and wanted to paint two rooms (my office and the half bath) this weekend and Teddy wanted to finish up some shelving for his office. We found a hundred dollars worth of other things we needed, of course, but left feeling like true home owners and ready to tackle some tasks. Sometime after midnight, I had already painted the majority of BOTH rooms (I told you I was feeling sassy) and Ted had installed and filled his shelves.

Saturday was spent running errands (I love Craig's List. We got a weight bench and weight set for 40 bucks. Perfect condition) and then we finished tackling some projects at night. I made my first ever set of curtains to finish off the bathroom and I love them! Some lines aren't straight (How do you get a perfectly straight line with a sewing machine? I'll be going along just fine and feeling good, but then I start to think "this shouldn't be this easy, this line shouldn't be this straight," and all of a sudden things go awry and cockeyed.) but all in all in think they look good for my first try! I've been eyeing the fabric I used for these curtains for months now. I loved it so much, but had no idea where I could use it. My sister-in-law Mindy told me that it's always best to pick your fabrics for a room first and then match the paint to it, rather than trying to find a fabric to match your paint choice. So I took her advice and wandered around the Lowe's paint section with my fabric. Ted wasn't thrilled about my color choice for the bathroom while I was painting, but likes it now that it is all pulled together. He gave me creative authority in regards to decorating the half bath, so I didn't have to worry too much when he said he didn't like the color, but I'm glad he likes the finished product.

Ted helped me mount my office shelves to the wall so they don't sway under the weight of all the crap I keep on them and I must say it was very easy and works great. I told Ted I'm glad he's around with knowledgeable suggestions, otherwise I would have watched my shelves sway until they broke.

I got the inspiration for the color of my office from a picture of an office in a magazine. That office had all white furniture in it and a gorgeous and super expensive flowered rug, but this is the best interpretation of it I can afford. Green is my favorite color and this shade rocks my world. I still have some more white accents to add and have to make curtains out of the same fabric that the bedspread is made of, but so far am pleased with the way it has turned out.

Well, it's time to get back to work. I've been in slow motion today and there are still a billion things to get accomplished before our guests arrive on Friday!


If I have to call Lowe's one more time...

So, this week has been a fury of phone calls to the builder, Lowe's, the subcontractor that installed the floors, and Frigidaire. It's been very frustrating to say the least, but I'm hoping that we've made some progress. To start off, the builder, sub contractor, flooring company, and Lowe's claim it's not their problem. That leaves Frigidaire. The fridge worked fine for the first few days we had it, so that leaves me to believe that Lowe's hooked it up correctly. Even when the freezer broke, the fridge portion was still working correctly. So it seems it must be a manufacturer problem. The delivery guy that picked up the broken fridge said he's seen problems with the Frigidaire compressors breaking--something about having to work too hard to cool down the fridge. He was the one that suggested we go after Frigidaire to fix the floors. After being transferred to many different numbers, I finally ended up at Frigidaire's liability department. I got a voice mail asking me to leave a message and someone would call back. I left a message and no one called. I continued to obsess and freak out about the floors. I called back and demanded to speak to a human being in the liabilities department. I was told that was impossible (What? Are there no human beings there?). The operators only have a number for the liabilities department voice mail. I told the woman I found it hard to believe that no one in the entire Frigidaire corporation knew how to speak to a human being in the liabilities department. I asked to speak to her manager. I was assured the manager would tell me the same thing. She finally offered to call the voice mail for me and leave a message on my behalf with the hopes that they would pay a bit more attention to it and call me sooner. I agreed and hung up, exhausted.

Mary from liabilities called me later that afternoon. We were cordial at first. That was, until she informed me that I had not followed proper procedure in dealing with this issue. I swear, dear reader, I am not making this up. She told me that I went about it all wrong because I did not have my FIVE DAY OLD VERY EXPENSIVE REFRIGERATOR serviced by their service company. Like a sane person who just spent ridiculous amounts of money on a brand new house and refrigerator, I returned the damn thing to the store when I found it broken days after purchase. As a matter of fact, I DID call the service company, but they couldn't send anyone out to the house for at least 2 days. I was afraid of the floors being ruined (little did I know, they already were), and also needed something to keep my food cold in. So I returned it. This was wrong. When I told dear Mary how ridiculous it was that her company expected me to wait until a service person could come look at the fridge, she told me that nonetheless, that is there protocol. I then berated her and her company for awhile. She informed me that she would look at my paperwork and review the case, but "could make no guarantees" since I'm a big idiot and did it all wrong according to them. I told her that I will give her the paperwork and call her again once I have everything in order, suggesting that she get someone in a higher level involved to review the circumstances of the case. We parted ways.

The snag here is that since I didn't leave a broken fridge leaking water on my new floors, then I don't have a service invoice and I can't prove it was manufacturer defect (Apparently they think Ted and I have a penchant for putting giant puddles on our floors and then getting big companies to pay for the damage).

Cue about a billion more phone calls to Lowe's. At last I was able to reach my boy Lyndell, who assured me that the fridge would be serviced by Lowe's, and if I just call Lisa in shipping and receiving, I can get a copy of that service invoice. A-ha! Take that Mary!

Lisa is going to be a doll and call me when I can come pick up a copy of the invoice, in about a week or so. In the meantime, I need to get two estimates (on company letterhead--Mary told me I can't just get a friend to give me an estimate. Thanks, Mar), color photos (please, I had those the day it happened), and wait for Frigidaire to send me the paperwork telling ME what paperwork I need to send THEM. There's the rub. Mary says that should take 7-10 business days, but because we had it out with one another, I'm expecting it to take longer.

Then we wait until Frigidaire reviews said paperwork and decides whether or not they are responsible. So before you go to bed tonight, say a little prayer for a manufacturer defect!

I love all of the hoops they make you jump through in the hopes of you just giving up and fixing the damage yourself. Well, they've got another thing coming if they think this little lady will be giving up anytime soon. I have a lot of Teddy (my late grandfather) and Geri (my mother) Baron in me, and I will not rest until I've jumped through every hoop they toss at me and come out victorious. A crusade against Frigidaire! I won't rest until I have unwarped floors!

In other news, we love our house! Pulling into the driveway at night with the little porch light on is the coolest thing. We still have a bit more unpacking to do and I have some painting plans for this weekend. We have our first overnight house guests coming next weekend, so we need to get everything in order by then. When I came home for lunch today (oh yeah, lunch at home every day is awesome) Ted was busy putting together the bar stools for the kitchen counter and they are adorable. The cats spend their days gazing out windows and lounging around. Yesterday I caught both of them standing at the back door just staring out into the yard. Too funny. We also set up our new treadmill the other night and it is SO. AWESOME. So convenient and it works great. All in all, the house process has been pretty smooth and definitely great. I'll be happy when I don't have to make phone calls to automated systems on a daily basis anymore, but other than that things are fine. As my sister-in-law Mindy said, someday we'll look back on this floor thing and laugh. We actually already are, since the whole thing is just so absurd.

Hopefully I'll have some more pictures in the next day or two of our progress.


It Was A Day.

So, Ted cleaned up the puddle while I got on the horn with Lowe's. They directed me to the service center. They couldn't send anyone until Tuesday. They directed me back to Lowe's. The appliance guy directed me to the Assistant Manager. He offered to upgrade us to a stainless steel fridge and deliver this afternoon. All seemed well. When Ted and I started cleaning out the old fridge this afternoon, however, we noticed that the hardwood floors are already warping. Now, I knew that these were pretty cheap hardwood floors, but we didn't have a choice in the matter and I was just thrilled to have something that resembled the real thing, being the first house and all. I was not, however, expecting them to completely warp if they get wet. To be fair, it was a standing puddle of water, but Ted and I didn't go to sleep until 5am this morning, and I know there was no puddle there just before that hour. I stepped in the puddle at 10:45 this morning. So it's not like it was sitting there for days. At any rate, the floors in front of the fridge are ruined. 5 days after moving in. So classic. It appears from the literature that it will be covered under warranty, but I have yet to fight that battle. I'm going to call the builder tomorrow and have him come look and tell me what to do. The biggest concern is the future of these floors. How do I clean them if the warp when they get wet? Many questions to be answered. Needless to say, most of our day was spent dealing with the fridge issue, and now whenever I look at the floor in the kitchen I die a little inside. Ted kept me grounded today, thankfully, or I would have had a total kicking and screaming meltdown I think.

Just. Died. A. Little.

I can't look at it anymore. It's killing me.

The bane of my existence.

We had so many busy errands to run the past couple of days that I feel like I didn't get anything done, but in reality there are only a few unpacked boxes left so we've done quite well. We finally got the master bedroom situated after a house hunt for the screws to put the bed together. I did a great job preparing them in a nice plastic baggie so they wouldn't get lost, but then couldn't remember where I had put the damn thing. My biggest fear was that I had left it in the capable hands of the movers, which would mean it got dropped or lost or thrown away somewhere along the move. I finally found it though and we can sleep in a somewhat organized room tonight.

We put the mailbox that Ted's mom made for us today and it looks so cute! Thanks Pam! I love it...

Our boring "before" mailbox

T Bone gets crazy with his cordless drill

Ta Da! So cute!

The cats are settling in well. Mortimer spends 99% of his days staring out the windows. I thought he was only up there when he saw a bird outside, but today I saw him sitting in the same spot for hours watching the leaves blow around. He's such a weirdo. Ethel spends her time walking on window sills and sleeping.

So, as I said, we've made some progress. We still have quite a few pieces of new furniture to put together and have yet to completely set up the living room and loft, but we can move around easily and the place looks somewhat presentable. We had some friends over Friday night and they loved the place despite the mess. It was nice to know that we aren't just biased admirers of this place (despite the floor debacle)!

Trials and Tribulations.

Woke up this morning and stepped in a giant puddle of water on the brand new hardwood floors in the kitchen. Water was pouring from the freezer side of our new very expensive refrigerator. That's all I have to say about that right now.



We've been working day and night unpacking boxes and arranging things. Just when we get a room "finished" and cleared of boxes, it's time to pull boxes out the garage or another area we've got them piled up. Then there's the shopping runs to Target, Walmart, and Lowe's. It's been a riot though and it's coming together nicely. Here's some shots from the first couple of days. Much progress has been made since these were taken, as illustrated by the stack of empty boxes that I documented today.

We wake up every morning with new sore muscles. This morning was better than the previous days as I was able to actually take a few steps as soon as I stood up. On previous mornings I cried out in pain as my calf muscles felt like they were tearing. I counted 26 separate bruises on one leg the other morning and every time I wake up it seems there are more. Apparently I'm a clumsy mover...

Oh, and the freezer doesn't seem to be working. It feels cold in there, and the ice machine is working, but our food is not very frozen. We discovered the problem today when we went to have some ice cream and found it to be slightly soupy. We adjusted the freezer setting earlier today and there has been no change so far. The instructions say to wait 24 hours, so that's what we are doing. Then we may have to get on the horn with Lowe's again. Ugh.

We're having an awesome time though. We love it here so much!