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Cleaning out the old

This moving thing is getting old already.  We have been going to the old house and finishing up clearing out old stuff.  You know, you just don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it.  Not to mention that I was feeling good that we had pared down – and we still have too much stuff.  Ugh.  It’s funny how you have so much stuff that means nothing – like how many mini blind brackets does one really need?? And you have the other things that mean a lot, like my great grandmother’s hand-painted plates:

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Then is the task of scrubbing down the old house. Dust bunnies galore!  When looking at the house, it seems so generic inside without all our stuff and I don’t feel sad about it.  All the character of the old house was on the outside and the garden and that does hurt some to look at.  

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I still need to move over most of my garden ornaments.  With no sale pending on the house, there really isn’t a hurry to do that stuff, but it would be nice to be finished.

We are slowly getting used to the new place. I do have to say that I have been sleeping really well.  I am totally shocked.  I normally suffer from insomnia and I will say that after the first week we closed on the new house, I started taking melatonin and that combined with all the physical work and I began sleeping a lot better.  The first night in the new house I slept surprisingly well and have all week.  I don’t know if it is just the melatonin, but a big part is the largeness of the master bedroom. I feel tucked away inside the room and not near a window or wall on the side and it just feels very safe. I just hope it lasts.

One of my favorite things is our new sink!  

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I was a little worried about the granite composite staining as some people reviewed it as having an issue with that, but we have not found that so far.  There has been tomato sauce, chili, coffee, blueberries and strawberries in the sink and no stains, so I am really pleased about that.  

Pixie also has been settling in like she owns the place.  She has been finding some strange places to hang out that she never did before:

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She just likes being with us, though.  I am happy that she has settled in and seems really content.  This was her in between John and I last night:

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I am glad for the weekend, although it just feels like we don’t have enough time to get everything done that we need!  Every time we cross one thing off, we find 2 more things to do :D

Let’s talk candy corn

Okay, it’s time to talk candy corn. I know there are a lot of you who don’t like it. I love it! Funny thing is that a lot of people associate candy corn with me. Sad and funny at the same time, don’t you think?

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Anyway, as a candy corn connoisseur, there are certain rules about candy corn.  The first is freshness.  Stale candy corn is terrible.  This is why I only eat candy corn in the fall when most is consumed and what you get is fresh.  Don’t be buying any convenience store snack bag of candy corn in July and expect it to be good.  

The other is brand. I am very particular about the brands of candy corn I like.  You can’t just go and buy any old candy corn.  Best brand?  Zachary’s.

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It has the best flavor in my opinion.

 

The other thing about candy corn?  You cannot mimic the flavor in other things.  It’s like fresh strawberries. Any kind of strawberry candy or muffin or whatever just doesn’t taste like strawberries.  So just say no to this:ccoreoMost definitely say no to this:

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It’s just white chocolate colored like candy corn. Imposter!!!

The other thing is to stay away from candy corn that has been adulterated.   This means none of this:

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No, no, no.  JUST STOP IT!!

 

Candy corn is a simple candy. Not sure why I like it so much, but I do!  We should take a poll and see how many candy corn lovers also love eggnog (I do!), which is another polarizing holiday treat. 

Settling in

We made it to the other side of the weekend’s move!  We did have some help packing and unpacking, but the moving part was by ourselves.  Thank goodness for being more fit than the last time we moved 8 years ago!  John also made a point that he is never moving again and I am to remind him weekly of that.   :lol: 

Too much stuff.

Pixie came over Sunday afternoon for good.  She was not liking all of the stuff being emptied out of the house.  

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Are we there yet?

Do you like the piano?

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I can now say I have moved a piano LOL!  Of course, it is missing the metal string compartment as John converted this to hold his keyboard. That got rid of a ton of weight in the piano since we were just moving the outer casing.

It’s going to take a while to get settled here, and we still have to clean up the old house and move a few leftover things.  It’s overwhelming to find new homes for everything:

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Of course, it would be really nice if we could actually take a few days off to get things in order, but being self-employed, we just don’t have that luxury and were right back at work this morning.  Gotta pay for this rehab!  At least no commute :)

It seems we have had a thousand plumbing issues in this house, but something actually worked like it was supposed to – this dishwasher!

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First load and no leaks. Whew…

We also did our first grocery shopping trip for the new house.  I am so tired of seeing pumpkin spice everything and I think this is just ridiculous:

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It’s time to stop pumpkin spicing everything.

Friday and moving weekend!

It’s Friday!  Not too much is blooming in my garden right now and I didn’t have time for pictures, but I did get a couple downtown of the mums:

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Now that we don’t have a leaky porch roof anymore, I put out my little scarecrow:

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Saturday is supposed to be very rainy. We were going to move the big stuff, but now are putting that off until Sunday. We are renting a truck.  I know I vowed never to move stuff myself, but with the expense of the roof and the heating system (whenever that happens), I made the decision to get the truck and move stuff. John left that decision up to me, pretty much.  Good thing I have been strength training.  It wont’ be that bad, though, I hope.  We have actually been taking stuff over with our daily trips and have moved quite a bit of stuff already. It’s the big stuff on Sunday like the china cabinet, table and bed.  Still ugh, though.

The most important thing has been at the house for a bit:

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I made chili in the crockpot to bring with us to cook at the house. I used up about 5 cans of things like tomatoes, beans, sauce, etc and was all excited thinking about using up all that stuff before moving.  Then it dawned on me that I was bringing it over anyway…

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Please don’t laugh, but I was so paranoid about having the crockpot on my new wood counters LOL!  I kept checking the counter for scratches or to make sure it wasn’t burning a hole in it.  Of course, they were fine.

So was the chili!

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We are putting the finishing touches on the kitchen.  It’s so exciting to see it now!  It feels like a home and not a disaster area.

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I forgot to mention the other day about the return of the pink picture!  Every October, I post a picture of something pink and ask that you click on the link below to help fund mammograms for women.  It’s free to click and you can do it every day.

Today’s pink picture?

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Firehose connections on the library! 

The Breast Cancer Site

October Goals

Where the H*ll did September go?  Okay, I know where it went.   September has such a flurry of activity normally because there are 2 anniversaries and 4 birthdays in the family that month and to add the house stuff on top of that and I don’t even know what day it is anymore. :D

Peeps, I am really tired. Bone tired. I can’t imagine if I had been trying to do that second job on top of this rehab and my regular job.  It just wouldn’t have been possible.  Once the move happens this weekend, the worst should be over, though, and there won’t be the daily traveling back and forth between the houses.

Trying to get some normalcy with our usual Bagel Wednesday!

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It’s nice that this place is a little over a mile from the new house and we will be able to walk there if we want.

It’s all decorated for Halloween, too:

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Pixie had her first visit to the new house.  She has never moved as she was a foundling outside the door of our current house.  I was curious as to how she would handle it, so we brought her over on Monday to spend the day with us.  She was a little freaked out at first, scurrying around and meowing and then after a couple hours of sniffing deposited herself on the floor in the living room by me.  When we came back to the house in the evening (we left here there as we had to grocery shop), she settled into the kitchen while we worked.

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We brought her back home around 9 pm that night and settled in to watch football.  This is what she did:

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Sacked out LOL!

Anyhoo, it is about time I started setting some goals for myself again.  This is the plan for October.

1. Move.  We are planning for moving the big stuff *this* weekend!

2. Get back to the gym.  Now that the heavy duty rehab stuff is done and we will be living in the new place, I can get back to training again.  I was using all the strength and stamina I had built up for rehabbing the house. Thank goodness for that or I never would have made it.  Now it is time to get back to routine again.  Plus the gym is only 2 miles from the new house! Woo Hoo!

3. Get my eating back into some semblance of normal.  Less processed quick stuff and more cooked things.  Less eating out, which is good for the pocketbook and pants.

4. Finish the dining room.  This room needs the rest of wallpaper removal and paint.  Really easy on the scale of projects, but it will take time.  The good thing is that I can be working on the walls while watching football once we get moved :D

Setting some goals makes it feel like we might get a normal schedule again… right??

Here are a few more pictures of progress that has been made. Here is something that didn’t work as planned.  My doors. These are to cover the radiator area and still let heat into the room.  I loved how the doors came
 out.

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Everything was hunky dory on these at first because I did my measurements with the door off on the cabinet to the right.  Well, there is not enough room for the new doors to go on with the other door in place and I can’t move the other door. So, we have to fashion new smaller doors.  Although, the idea behind them is exactly what I envisioned. Execution is the problem here.  These are the things in rehab that are really annoying.  Supposed to work, but don’t.

The shower now works – woo hoo!  The final part was the charm.  This is the trim unit we needed.

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We had to find the trim that fit the installed valve. Finding this model was a real PITA (and expensive).  If we couldn’t find the trim that fit the valve, it would have meant tearing off the tub surround and replacing the valve in the wall (not a job we would do), then replacing the surround, which was not in the plan…at least not now.  Just this valve trim alone was over $200. Can you believe it?  Kohler brand.  Or should I say Koh$er brand.  Now it is time to clean a super grimy shower before we put our tootsies in there.  It’s gross.

Stove is in and the marble is grouted.

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I love the marble it! LOVE IT!  Maybe some year we will convert to a gas stove, which would be wonderful.  We also got the fridge today.  The kitchen is now functional and just needs small things done like some caulk lines and shoe molding… and the cabinet door do over  :roll:  

Tonight I get to be at the old house doing laundry, working and packing. Fun, fun!!

Lake ride and anniversary!

First off, I want to wish John a very happy anniversary!  18 years ago we finally got hitched and I couldn’t have picked a better person to spend the last 18 years with :D

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Coincidence – this photo was in a bunch of pictures we brought over to the new house today. 

Saturday was too nice of a day to spend it all doing rehab, so we decided on a ride to the lake!  Colors are just starting to turn. Probably they will peak in the next week or two.  

 

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Mums!
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It was really a bright and sunny day.

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It was worth taking the early part of the day off for riding!

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Now that the tourist season is pretty much over, the lake is peaceful and quiet.

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While the tourism is great for the economy, it is nice to have the lake back to locals – especially at the most beautiful time of year.

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A few trees are turning now.  The orangey colors are one of my favorites of the fall colors.

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We stopped at the Lake George Baking Company for our treat and they had this sign posted:

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Truth.

 

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Pumpkin cupcake with maple frosting!  So good!  We sat in a couple Adirondack chairs and enjoyed a gorgeous day.  There might have been a donut consumed, as well…

We did have to get some rehab work done, so we headed home. Nonstop, actually! 

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31 miles and it was soooo good to get out for a long ride.  We have been working really hard for the last 6 weeks.

Rehab  progress this weekend: 

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Sink in, but not hooked up yet.  That will happen this week. We are also getting the fridge and stove delivered this week.  It’s almost a functional kitchen!

What’s Blooming!

My in-ground mums haven’t bloomed yet. It’s funny how all the little pots for sale everywhere are in full bloom and the ones I have actually planted are not blooming yet.

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My new hydrangea at the Manor is looking beautiful!

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I really hope I don’t kill this plant. I need to do a lot of reading up on these.  Also near the hydrangea is something my sister found the other day on the fence in the corner:

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I think his super powers are the only thing holding this bit of fence upright, along with the string…

Another bloom came out on the darker delphinium:

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The butterfly bush is sending out tiny little blooms at the end of the season:

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Snapdragons are also blooming:

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Here is a better picture of the sedum in full color:

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I hope to get some foliage pictures this weekend. Trees are starting to turn around here.  

Kitchen update!

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Marble going in.  That will be the project for most of the weekend, that is for sure.  There is a lot of tile that needs to go up! However, there will be some biking. The weather is going to be too gorgeous to pass up riding :D

Finishing the flooring

Marching in slow progress.  We were hoping to be able to move into the house this weekend by our anniversary, but looks like it will be the weekend after that.  Not too bad for timeline, though!

Roof is finally all fixed and now I can go and do transcription work from the new house during the day without all that noise.

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We tested the radiators this week and they all work with no leaks, thank goodness. Our boiler is really old and we need to decide whether to replace it or possibly invest in one of those ductless split heating/cooling systems.  Since the walls are cement and we have radiator heat – puttting in a forced air system is totally out because installing air vents would be a problem. So, it is either new boiler or the ductless.  The ductless system would be nice because then we would have air conditioning!  So, we need to get an estimate on the cost of that. A new boiler is around $10,000 (super ouch!!), plus another couple thousand for the chimney liner. 

This week most of the time was spent on the flooring and coating the counters.  The flooring went in pretty easily.  I have installed tile, laminate, vinyl and now engineered wood floor.  The only floor we haven’t done is hardwood :D

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This flooring has an underlayment already attached to it, so we didn’t have to put that down. The cork planks cut much easier than laminate and we easier to install, although some boards gave us problems for unknown reasons. We did find a lot of pieces with chipped edges, though. Probably a whole box worth, so that needs to get returned.

It took 2 days for us to get flooring in the kitchen and nook areas.  

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I am loving how the floor looks.  I put my chair in there just for fun.  It’s not going in there permanently.

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I like this floor enough to put it in the little alcove off the living room (we call it the North room) in the future. That is the only room with carpet in it and I really, really like this cork.  I like the color. It is very quiet to walk on and cushiony.

 

Lots of attention paid to the counters this week, too. With the Waterlox, you have to let it dry 24 hours between coats and it needed 4 coats.  It didn’t take a lot of time to actually put on the coats, but there is a lot of downtime waiting. We can’t put in the sink or tile until that gets done.  I am pretty pleased with how it is looking, though.

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Backsplash should be started on Friday or Saturday.  Yippee!

Plumbing always seems to be the bane of my existence.  The previous owners took the shower handle (why??) and finding a replacement has been the biggest PITA ever.  

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Plumbing parts are very brand specific and after finally figuring out the brand, we cannot seem to find anything that fits this particular stem. It would really help if these parts were labeled so that it could be matched, but they aren’t.  This is one of those things that should be easy, but isn’t and is incredibly frustrating.

We took tonight off from the rehab to do a few other things. After 2 weeks of going down in flames for football picks to start the year, I finally won this week!  Woo Hoo!  I decided to try something really different:

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5 Guys!  This was pretty good. You don’t see burgers on the blog hardly ever.  I don’t generally like to eat ‘corporate’ meat as we call it, but I wanted to try this.  John got a grilled cheese sandwich LOL!  I don’t know if I would go back again, but the fries were awesome!

Then it was shopping time. Birthdays coming up in the next week and appliance shopping!

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I will be glad when money stops going out faster than it comes in, that is for sure!

Slow cooker potato chowder

It’s fall and that means time for soups and warm meals!  I made this soup on Monday to get us through the next couple days.

Potato and Corn Chowder

This is a super, super easy recipe.  I used this recipe as the basis, but had to cut the ingredients down because the original wouldn’t fit in my 6-quart crockpot. I don’t remember if I posted this before, but if I did it has been a long time.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pound  potatoes with skin, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces of frozen kernel corn
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces of milk (I used 2%)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in the crock pot except for the  milk.  Don’t worry, the liquid will not cover all the potatoes and this is okay. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.
Using a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes, but leave the soup somewhat chunky.  This will thicken it up.  Stir in the milk and let it heat through for another 5 minutes or so.  If you want a thinner soup, add more milk. Then serve with optional crumbled bacon or cheese (or both!).
This makes about 11-12 cups of soup.

Counters and 1 balloon

Another weekend come and gone. We managed to do some nonrehab stuff this weekend, too, which is a good thing.

 

Saturday started with rehab, of course.  Here is another look at all the scapholding set up to repair the roof.

 

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They are working on the valley up there and will be reslating the roof over the porch.  So glad I don’t have to be up there.  You know those things that you would never think of doing yourself? That would be roofing for me. I do have my limits :D

See that pipe on the roof waaaay up there in the middle of this picture?

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That’s where they were last week.  Scary stuff. The back porch is also getting redone (which is why those wires are hanging there).

I was inside working on the counters while John made what seems like the millionth trip to the hardware store.  Sanding and sanding and sanding:

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I have my game face on (kinda scary, actually):

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I actually got interrupted while I was sanding by someone at the door. I thought maybe my sanding was too loud, but it turns out to be a former owner of the house. The owner previous to the one that got foreclosed on. He saw the sale notice in the paper and came to see his old house.  I took him on a tour and he was telling me what he had done to the property and all the things that were missing that the foreclosed owner took out of the house, like the California Closet systems and the French doors.  This gentleman was waxing very nostalgic about the house and said he would have bought it back if he had known it was on the market.  After I went back inside, he was leaning against his car and talking on his phone while looking at the house.  I have to say that it would not surprise me one bit if he approached us to buy the property  – but he can’t have it! LOL!

We spent some relaxing time in the afternoon with some coffee and a jazz duo:

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This was the weekend of the Adirondack balloon festival.  We decided to stop by on Saturday evening, although it was breezy and we didn’t think any balloons would go up.  They didn’t fly, but some inflated a little bit:

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This is how hard they were pulling to control the balloons in the breeze.

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Darth Vader was there, though!

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Darth had his own balloon, but it didn’t fly Saturday.  At least it was nice to get outside and walk around and away from the rehab.

We were able to do our usual 20 mile ride for breakfast on Sunday.  Doing that ride makes it feel like life isn’t quite so crazy, you know?  I do love my routines.  Except I forgot my phone, so no pictures.  Not to mention I missed that my mother texted that she wanted to meet us for breakfast. Oops.

Back to counters. Crack filling and sanding:

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Kim asked what we will be sealing the counters with and it is this product:

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After a lot of research, I chose this product for a few reasons.

A. It is food safe once it cures.

B. It is water resistant (not waterproof) and won’t turn white if it gets wet.

C.  Since this is a wood countertop, chances are it will get dings and scratches. With Waterlox, you can sand just the damaged part and add more Waterlox. Using poly and you would have to sand the whole counter and reapply. 

I’ll have to let you all know how that works out :D

And an historic moment at Radiance Manor:

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The moving of 2 plants!  This is the 100-pound rose bush and my razzmatazz coneflower.  They are just in the ground. Probably not their permanent homes, but I had to get them over and transplanted so they have a chance to get some roots established.

This week we will be sealing the counters and putting in flooring. Getting close, people!