Friday, August 22, 2014

Welcome to NY!

It has been SOOO long since I've logged anything here, but I swear I have a good excuse.

1) moving
2) moving to a remote place in MA that has no internet reception or cell service
3) moving again, finally to our new home in NY.

I've learned a lot these last few weeks.  A Lot.

Though soo soo grateful to Jay's parents for letting us take over their summer home while we found a place to live, I must admit I was dreading being cut off from the world so thoroughly.  My first Sunday at church, I was slightly relieved that the branch had no nursery so that I could run one for Hazel and finally check my email on my phone.  It was really annoying at first because we kinda needed the internet to figure out where we were going to live, so for awhile, we would drive over to the (tiny) local library and sit in our minivan (oh yeah! we got a minivan) using their wireless.  The kids would watch a movie in the back on their iPads and I would scour craigslist and zillow while Jay would catch up on his gazillion emails he got over the last 2 days.

However, once we knew where we were living I actually really really liked being cut off from the world.  It was very freeing in a way.  I spent a lot more time reading books.  In a way, it felt more indulgent because when you spend time online it feels like I am "working".  Gaining information.  Paying bills.  Unbolding emails.  But reading a book novel is really just blatantly all pleasure.

So it turns out I can live without internet.

The things I missed the most actually turned out to be:
-potable water that comes out of your tap
-climate control
-having more control over the amount of bugs I encounter on a daily basis
-having a closet to hang my clothes in.

I was surprised by how annoyed I got having to dig through a suitcase for my stuff all the time.  Closets ROCK!

Anyway, after nearly buying a house in Poughkeepsie, we realized (i'm feeling very listy today, aren't I?)
-closing on a house takes FOR.E.VER (okay, just 45-60 days) in NY and Jay was going to end up sleeping on the floor of his office for 6 weeks while the rest of us lived in MA and it all just sounded horribly inconvenient.
-the market here is AWESOME for buying a house, but HORRID for selling a house and if we ended up needing to move in a year it could have been really hard to sell and we were purposely buying a fixer-upper which means we had only 1 year to fix everything up.  and learn a new place. and homeschool The Frog. and....

So I chickened out on the house and we are renting instead.

In true Libby fashion, I tried to find the cheapest place possible that had (another list)
-2 car garage
-lots of storage space
-nice neighborhood
-real backyard
-within a 20 minute drive of Vassar
-could move in by the time Jay needed to start showing up at work

We did find a place but it feels SO tiny!  We are losing our office space, our TV room, a bedroom, a food storage room, and my craft room.  (and a bathroom, but I was always secretly annoyed at having to clean 3 bathrooms so for me, that's a good thing.)  BUT there is an attic where we are trying to store as much as we possibly can so that we won't have to repack as much when we move next year.

We decided to put our bed in the smallest bedroom so we could use the master bedroom as a treadmill/TV/craft room.  Our bedroom is SO funny.  I laugh every time I go in there because there is 1 foot on all sides of the bed before you hit wall.  Luckily, our nightstands are really small and they perfectly fit!  :)

The kids are all sharing 1 bedroom smaller than their old one.  We're still trying to decide where will be the least awkward place to put Hazel's crib...  But I think it will provide some real sibling bonding, don't you?

Really, the smallness doesn't bother me that much.  Really what bothers me is HOW MUCH STUFF WE HAVE!  Every time Jay brings in another box that says "Kitchen" or "Craft" I feel myself blushing.  Don't get me wrong... my dessert plates are adorable.  But after going through everything and saying "I can live without this for the next year.  Let's put it in the attic," a small corner of my brain whispers that perhaps I could live without it. period.

We have a LOT of bottled pears from our old pear tree.

Luckily, I don't know where to donate stuff here yet so I'm off the hook for now :)

Now for the real kicker.

I don't mean to complain, but I spent FOUR DAYS deep cleaning this place.  It was FILTHY!  Like no-way-Libby-it-couldn't-be-that-bad-you're-exaggerating bad.

If you have a weak stomach, you should stop reading now.

So the previous owners had 2 cats and lived here for 3 years.  I think they must have been saving up for a third cat and accidentally left it in their CARPET!  Seriously!  I have the picture to prove it!
All of that is CAT. HAIR.  and it all came from the master bedroom ALONE.  It took me 2 HOURS of vacuuming that one room to get it out.

but let me back up.

So I was pleased to hear that the carpets would be professionally cleaned on Monday before we could start getting ready to move in.  My plan was to do the last finishing touch cleaning items before I move my things in like vacuuming out kitchen drawers, etc.  for maybe a day or so and then start unpacking.

I get there on Tuesday and walk in thinking "YIKES!! WHAT IS THAT SMELL!!"

I was trying to be nice and so carried on with the vacuuming of the kitchen drawers and shelves when I noticed this place is coated in colonies of cobwebs. Ok ok, yeah, this is a rental unit with vaulted ceilings so it's not surprising that there would be cobwebs in places that required me to use a step-stool and a long vacuum attachment to get.  That is semi-understandable.  But no, we're talking door frames, walls (even at waste level!), cabinets, every. single. corner.  So now I have to go around the whole house and basically vacuum the walls and corner.  Thank goodness this place is so small!

So then I go to the master bedroom to start putting some of my things away in the closet and I'm sitting on the floor nearly gagging from the horrid wet animal smell.  I look at Jay and say, "do you smell that?"

Jay: *sniff sniff* "no"
me: "what? seriously?  that horrid wet dog smell?  you can't smell that"
Jay: not really.

So now, I'm starting to think I'm just over-reacting.

I go do things in other parts of the house and then go back to the master and MAN!  it stinks!!

So then I get all whiny to Jay and how I'm scared to say something to the landlord because I don't like inconveniencing people, so basically what I'm saying is I make Jay do it.

He and his wife say they can't smell anything but they agree to my proposal to let me rent a steam cleaner with a pet odor treatment from Home Depot to see if I can get it to come out with a bit of work.

We get the thing rented and the lady tells me to be sure an vacuum first.

okay, yeah. good idea.

Unfortunately, my vacuum head that does floors got separated from the rest of my vacuum in the move.  Luckily, this house has a central vacuum, so I decide to use that.  It doesn't have rollers on it, just an attachment lined with stiff bristles.

So I start vacuuming back-and-forth (like anyone would) and I see what looks like a ball of lint or something accumulate.  I figure the head must just be dirty with lint and now it's rubbing off on the carpet.  I'll just get that with the Dyson.

But no. It just keeps happening.  The whole length of the carpet!  I soon realize that I am essentially combing cat hair off of the carpet into little piles.  So I did this very methodically across the whole room and then went back with my Dyson and sucked up the piles.  Then I'd do it again purpendicularly, etc.

I'd be lying if I said that some level of me didn't enjoyit.  I do love getting something really grimy to become clean.  But this quickly got old once I decided to go over the entire carpet until I no longer got hairballs to come out of it.

2 HOURS LATER I finally stopped getting little piles to appear in the Master bedroom.  On to the next room...

I have never EVER sweat so much vacuuming carpet before.

So yeah, looks like I wasn't the crazy smeller of phantom stink after all.  And that also makes me feel pretty good.

I think smelling stinks is one of the super powers all moms get so we can make sure our kids don't get diaper rash.  Unfortunately, it can also be a curse and cause you us to vacuum cat fur for 2 hours.  I had to repeat the same procedure in all the other bedrooms, the hall, and the family/dining room as well.  Luckily, none of the others were even half so bad.

So once that was all done, I used the steamer and went to bed at 1am.  I can't remember now.

The next morning it still smelled bad and so I did it all again.  (though I only vacuumed twice this time)

It still smells and the landlord has graciously agreed to replace the carpet.


However, that means we have to move all our stuff out in a week.  Again.  *sigh*

But it will be sooo worth it.

Well, I was just taking an unpacking break to double-check a youtube video about getting rid of a slow draining sink and am still surrounded by boxes.  I should go.  (really, I should go to bed.  after I fix the sink, I promise!)


Gavin Howard said...

Hello from Provo! Thank goodness you made it there safely. I'm still kinda upset that you had to move. Jay was really helpful answering my language design questions. Thanks, Jay!
And yes, I am a male, so you have a male reader. :)

cheryl said...

You're amazing! That car hair is unbelievable. Bless you for having to clean that. Loved reading the update to you sent to Denise. Everyone misses you guys. Lizzie was so sad to have a birthday party with no Charlotte

Keegan said...

I've been thinking about you and wondering how things are going. Looks crazy! What a good sport you are though! Congratulations on the new carpet -- that sounds like such a relief. Patrick (who is very allergic to cats) would be dead in that house.