Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pomp & Circumstance

While I'm opting out of walking down the aisle to collect the expensive piece of paper, I do feel good right now. Last night, in the last hour of school, my final group paper was completed and submitted. It will be graded this week and I'll be able to see my final grade by Friday. Once the grade is up, I can fill out a form to have my diploma sent.

I did it. I'm a college graduate.

Yeah, I'm pretty happy right now.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Backyard Blogging

Squirrels like to run along the top of the fence in the back. They do this during the day, when the people living there are away to work and the two canines are tucked safely inside that house. The neighbors to the left also have two pooches, a black and white cocker spaniel (I think) and a pug. Pretty cute. It'll be at least a year before I get a dog to go with my quaint little abode, but I love the neighborhood.

Two houses down, I saw an elderly man and his wife out doing some yardwork. As I drove up into the drive of my place, I looked to see if they would be curious about the newbie on the block. But they never looked up. Either they are lacking curiousity or they were just too busy in their work. Probably the former.

Unpacking is coming along. There is at least some room to breathe in the living room now. My bedroom is a different story and hopefully Thursday's trip to IKEA will cure that disaster or at least make a dent in my pocketbook.

I still don't have a shower. I have a bathtub to bathe in, but no actual shower exists in this house. That should be rectified on Saturday, after a trip to the Farmer's Market in Minneapolis with Mom. Dad promised to help adapt the tub into a tub/shower this weekend. Since my hair is too long for a bathtub (meaning: I need a shower head for rinsing), I headed over to my dad's place (less than a 1/2 mile away) to use his shower.

That was a bit of an adventure. His shower was stuck on two heat settings: scalding hot and "oh my! I didn't really need that patch of skin!" After screaming in pain and weeping in frustration for a few minutes, I tried again and again. Finally, I was able to pry the knob just enough to reach a, "That's really hot, but at least I'll live," temperature. I'm beginning to think the only thing I'll miss about the old apartment was the water pressure. It was nice.

I have a water softener sitting in my garage and a twenty dollar bill ready in my pocket. There are strong, burly men arriving tonight, sometime between 5:30 and 7:30 with a washer/dryer set. Sears would deliver the washer/dryer combo, but not a water softener. So I bought the water softener anyway and we put it in Scott's truck (Mom's boyfriend and my future step-father). It made it to the garage, but I'm hoping to bribe the burly men so that they might carry it down the basement steps.

I was prepared to purchase the washer and dryer. I had thought it out, put the money aside, and was really getting ready to pay for the pair. Mom and Dad are very nice and decided that this would be a fabulous college graduation present. One bought the washer, one bought the dryer. We received a pretty good deal at Sears on these items. There is a sale going on that if you buy 1 appliance over $399, you get 10% back as a rebate. Two appliances equals 15% rebate. Three was 20%. That's where the water softener comes in.

I opted for the front loading washer and dryer. Both are Kenmore products and I am pretty happy with the purchase. Dad's friend, Jeff, is going to show up sometime and adapt the basement with a 220 volt socket for the dryer. But I'll be able to wash and line dry some things tonight, which is good since the pile of clean clothes is diminishing and the piles of "needs washing" are growing.

Today is technically only day 2 of my vacation, since I work Tuesday through Saturday. But it is the fourth day I've had off of work (the weekend) and I've slept in my home three nights now. The noise from the highway somewhat nearby (end of the street) doesn't bother me at all. I've lived by busy streets for most of my life and it is the only noise that doesn't bother me while sleeping. Now, the sound of June bugs constantly hitting the window because a gleam of light is coming from it freaks me out. Thud. Thwap. It's just gross. I found a better way to keep the lights down at night so this isn't much of a problem anymore (aka, I figured out how to have the motion sensor work and not just leave the light on permanently).

The excitement of being here, the understanding that this is "my place," and pride I have in my house are amazing feelings. I really am loving being a home owner.

I still have much to unpack and a few more necessities to buy. I decided against a riding lawn mower, but am going to pick up a self-propelled little Honda mower. Dad let me try his out and I found it a better value for the money and easy to operate. I've got to plant a few little gardens here and there and I cannot wait until the peonies in the front start to bloom. There is a gigantic rhubarb plant in the back, next to the air conditioner, that is ready to pick. Maybe Mom knows something good to make with it. I'll have to check.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that my car made a funny noise. Yesterday, I took it to this mechanic, Keith, that my mom trusts. Nice guy and honest. Honest mechanic may be a bit of an oxymoron, but it is true. I asked for an oil change, the 35K mile check up, and for him to figure out what was wrong with the car. He did the oil change, talking me out a new air filter, checked all the belts and such, and then reattached this piece of plastic hanging down on the bottom of the car. The piece of plastic was the noise culprit. He also noted that my tires, which were dealership 35K mile tires, were getting pretty bad and I had him put new 80K mile tires on the vehicle. It rides much smoother and drives like a new car again. I love it.

Life is good here.