Hi all! Thanks for all the congratulatory notes! I never meant to be gone this long but, oh man, moving into a new home (new to me, the house itself is ancient) has been so much more stressful and time consuming than I ever imagined. It's almost broken me more than once, and it's not over yet. The former owners were far more neglectful than we realized, and the house has needed repairs to just about everything, and what hasn't been repaired has needed to be cleaned down to the cellular level ... or so it seemed at the time I was scrubbing at it. Yeesh! Why don't some people take care of their homes?
At any rate, I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (and I'm just hoping the light doesn't belong to on oncoming train). I'm wayyyyyyyyyyyy over budget so I'll be stressing about my financial state for ... well, probably forever ... but that's not exactly a new thing. But at the moment I'm lying here looking at cool green trees and hearing nothing but birdsong, and I can't complain about that.
Just as an example, I'll tell you the kind of thing I've been dealing with ... it was beyond frustrating at the time, but I'm starting to see the funny side of it now. The first thing to be fixed up was the kitchen; the dishwasher was broken, the refrigerator was breaking, and the oven and microwave were both covered in such a thick layer of grease that I didn't want to touch them. (The surrounding cabinets and counters were also covered in grease ... old, thick and hardened grease ... it took me four days of scrubbing to clean them. Geez, humans are dirty creatures...........)
So I ordered new appliances, thinking they would be installed and ready to go by the time I actually moved in a couple weeks later. Ha ha.
First try ... I wait for them all day (the delivery was supposed to take place between "8 a.m. and 4 p.m."). They are supposed to call me when they arrive. Guess what ... they can't find the address, AND there's no cell phone signal out here. I see the truck as it is driving away -- on the wrong road -- but it's too late to chase them down and I can't make a phone call.
So I go to the store and give them very specific directions to pass along to the drivers.
Second try ... they are supposed to deliver between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. (!) At 11:30 in the morning, as I am starting my hour-long commute from my then residence to my new residence, I get a call that they are there but cannot find the house ... again. They cannot wait an hour for me to show up, and they leave.
Third try ... I'm told the only time available is Tuesday 4 to 8 p.m., when I'm supposed to be teaching classes, so I cancel the classes ... no income today! Around 7 p.m. I get a faint cell phone signal and call to check on them ... the delivery company has nothing on the schedule for me.
Fourth try; by now, I'm living here, subsisting on apples and energy bars. Again they can "only" deliver on Tuesday from 4 to 8. Again, I cancel classes. At 2 p.m. I spot the truck ... once again, on the wrong road. I go flying down the hill and manage to intercept them. Finally, the appliances are delivered, yay! Look, a shiny new fridge, yay! I wander off to do something else, and when I return the stove is also in place ... and it's the wrong color. At which point they tell me they don't uninstall/install microwaves, I have to pay someone extra to do that. They leave.
So at this point I have a black fridge, a white stove, an old greasy beige microwave, and a huge box with a (supposedly) black microwave sitting in the middle of my living room. I go back to the store, and they say no, the microwave in the box is white, not black. Fine, I say, then send me a white fridge. As long as everything is the same color.
Fifth try ... once again, the delivery is two hours earlier than I was told, and once again, they go to the wrong place, and I have to go running after them; again. The lead character is an excitable fellow; he keeps saying the fridge won't fit through the door and he's going to leave without doing anything. I keep telling him he can't leave and show him how to take off the door.
Finally, it's done ... and the new fridge starts rattling so loud I can't even hear myself think. I finally fix it by sticking a rock under one side. (Apparently they didn't level it properly.)
Meanwhile, one of the other workmen I've had around the place noticed that my hot water heater had thick brown goo oozing out of it, so I had it replaced too. Yay, the guys that install the hot water heater also know how to install microwaves! They come in, start opening the box ... and it's the wrong color. It's neither black nor white, but stainless steel.
This time I elect not to go to the store, but to wait on hold for customer service for an hour and a half (seriously.) Hey, by now I'm living in the place, and the store's an hour away; I figure I'm saving time. They don't even bother to apologize, but they do send the right color this time. The same team as last time delivers it; the excitable guy refuses to even get out of the truck, letting his buddy do all the hauling. But at last, I have three appliances the same color, even though one is still in the box. (Why only three, you ask? I decided I didn't need a dishwasher.) The box is still sitting there; I had another set of workmen that were supposed to come in yesterday and set it up, but they didn't show up. (Another long story.)
Needless to say, after all this, I decided to order a washer/dryer from a different store, which was supposed to be delivered July 3. On July 1, I get a call saying there would be a delay ... until August 11.