Married to the Empire

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fixing Up the House

While we've closed on our house already, we haven't moved in.  It was filthy, the carpets are nasty, and appliances won't be delivered until next week.  (The guy who bought our old house wanted the appliances, and as the washer and dryer were 16 and the fridge was 13 and didn't match the new kitchen anyway, we were fine with letting him have them.)  So, Steven works during the day at VOM, and I go to the new house when I can and do some cleaning and love on the cats until Alex says he's had enough.  Steven goes over in the evenings to do some work of his own.

For example, while prepping Alex's room for painting, Steven discovered that there was painted-over wallpaper in there.  He started pulling it off and found messed up drywall.  It's turned into a full-blown project that has him frustrated. 

The nice thing is, he can mess up the carpet all he wants, as that's being replaced on May 2nd.  It's really gross, and the house smells funky, in large part due to the nasty carpet.  I genuinely don't understand how people can stain a carpet so badly.  But it was a rental before we bought it, and I'm learning that people just don't take care of stuff when they don't own it. 

My kitchen needed some TLC.  The cabinets are nice, but they're 32 years old and a bit banged up.  I cleaned them, then discovered that my furniture feeder actually made it with my cleaning supplies slated for apartment living.  I was so excited to find that!  I rubbed that in, and I'm hoping the cabinets will drink that up.  When my Howard's Restore-a-Finish comes out of storage, I'll go over everything to make it look prettier. 

Isn't that diamond checkerboard floor fabulous?!  I fell in love with it when we looked at the house.  It's even my shade of green! 

I'm planning to paint my kitchen and the breakfast room behind it, which will by my crafting space, a soft, pale, cheery shade of pink.  My husband is not happy about that decision, as he doesn't share my love of pink, but the kitchen is my space.  If I have to live in a house full of boys (even the cats are boys!), then I should get to have a little pink somewhere.  Besides, it'll look very nice with that green floor. 

I went on a cleaning warpath.  The house was given to us in filthy condition, which irritated me more and more as I worked.  I mean, I had a baby and a ton of packing to do, and I still managed to clean my house for the new owner!  This guy had his renters move out a month before we took possession, and he cleaned nothing.  *sigh*  I'm not one to use antibacterial cleaners (the surfactants in regular cleaners are typically enough to remove dirt and germs and don't contribute to the creation of Super Bugs), but I was finding myself a bit skeeved by the filth in this house.  (There was urine all over the toilet seat in the master bath, for crying out loud! Who does that?!)  I bought a big ol' bottle of Mr. Clean and went to town.  I'd say that you can eat off my floors now, but the cats danced in the fireplace after I'd mopped, and there's now soot scattered around. 

It's a slow process, but the house is coming together. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Cats Are Back!

I got a bit stressed and upset last week.  Lots of tears were involved.  In a nutshell, the cats were distressed by their circumstances, Doogie was dehydrated and had lost a pound in only 3-4 weeks (that's a lot of weight for a cat to lose), and Ninja wouldn't come see me when I went to visit.  Additionally, I was lonely and homesick.  All of that together had me a mess. 

An email went out to friends, as I was very worried about the cats and not sure what to do.  I asked for prayer for the situation, for Doogie's health, and for my peace of mind.  And the very next day, God answered in the most unexpected way: our realtor called and said we were closing on our new house a full week early.  As in, the very next day. 

The distressing visit with the cats was Wednesday, the realtor called Thursday, we had our house Friday, we had our cats back on Saturday morning.  Oh, yeah!  I love how our God cares about the littlest things, such as my sweet cats! 

They were pretty freaked out by the new house.  Who can blame them?  We'd thrown them into chaos, starting with the packing of our old house, and the changes just kept coming in new and dramatic ways.  They had deemed the bedroom of the girl who was officially caring for them during their time away from us as their safe room.  They found the locational equivalent in the new house right away, and there they stayed for 36 hours, refusing to come down and be with us. 

But it didn't take them too long to realize that they were safe, it was just us, and nothing was happening, other than some heavy-duty cleaning of the place. 

It also didn't take long for them to discover the fireplace.

See that black thingy in front of the fireplace?  We arrived at the house yesterday to find that flat on the floor.  A few minutes later, Steven brought the guilty party to me.  And no, it wasn't our Naughty Ninja!  It was Doogie, all covered in soot.  It shows well on his pretty white fur.  If you look at the picture below, you can see soot on his paw.

The undersides of all his white paws are now gray, and his neck is gray now, too.  And lest you think Ninja is totally innocent, we found sooty pawprints on the kitchen counter, directly underneath an open cabinet.  Only Ninja knows how to open stuff. 

My boys are back!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Displaced Texan

I'm now officially a displaced Texas.  We moved to Oklahoma last Wednesday.  Not everything went smoothly with the move, but we made it here just fine, and that's what matters.  We don't close on our house until later in the month, so for the time being, we're living in a 2-bedroom apartment on the campus of The Voice of the Martyrs.  We're very blessed to have this option of free housing, but I'll confess that I'm finding it frustrating at times. 

Doogie and Ninja are living with another family for the time being.  It's very hard being separated from them, but at least they're not having to stay in a kennel.  We visited them on Saturday night, and while they're very confused and still a bit frightened of the changes, they're adjusting and doing relatively well.  Doogie is unfortunately dehydrated, so I've made an appointment for him with a local vet for Wednesday afternoon for a subcutaneous IV. 

Can I just say how very hard it was to leave our amazing vet behind in Texas?  The whole office was at the front to say good-bye when I stopped in to pick up the cats' medical records.  The vet teared up, which I have to admit, made me feel good.  I like knowing that we were valued clients.  She truly cares about my furry boys, which is why she's been our vet all these years.  I asked her to move to Oklahoma, but alas, she's staying put in Texas. 

I've always lived in big cities, so Bartlesville is an adjustment, for sure.  I spent Monday searching for Graco Pack N Play sheets.  I've not been happy with generic sheets, and we need more, as Alex is using his Pack N Play for a crib right now.  There were none to be had in town, so I had to drive to Tulsa today to buy some.  That was an adventure, as I was born without a sense of direction.  Mapquest gave me directions to a Toys R Us in some scary part of town, even though I'd searched for Babies R Us.  I'd hoped to explore Tulsa a bit, but there was really nothing else in that area, and I had a screaming headache, so we drove straight home.  But hey, I found my way there and back, and I only got a little lost, so it was a huge success for me!