June 20, 2006

this is kinda cool...

This http://douweosinga.com/projects/visitedstates is a website I found where you can generate a map of the states you've visited in the US- here's mine: Looks like I have the Midwest pretty much covered!!! Hopefully sometime in the next couple years I can get to some of the more western states; California, Nevada, and Utah are all within driving distance, and there are places I'd like to visit in each of them. There's also an option for a world map with which countries you've visited, but that wouldn't be very interesting, since I've never been out of the US. I hope to get to Mexico sometime, too, since that's also within driving distance!

June 18, 2006

House update

There were supposed to be pictures in this post, but I for some reason Blogger isn't letting me upload them- so, you will have to imagine walls and ceilings full of drywall and nails! We drove down on Thursday afternoon, since that's the only time Tom had to see it, in between business trips and his weekend trip to Chicago. The drywall was all finished; this week they should be doing the mudding and taping. (After that, the timeline should be something like: stucco, roofing tiles, flooring, and cabinet installation.)

Last week we got "The Letter" from Homelife Communities, our builder, scheduling the Buyer Orientation Walkthrough- it's set for July 21st. This means it will be finished by that date!!! And, our house will be ready for occupancy on July 26th, after 4 pm. This gives them time to fix any issues we find during our walkthrough, and allows a couple days for the closing documents to be signed and the loan/escrow to be finalized.

So, pretty soon, our weekend trips will be stopped- our real estate agent Julie says that usually once they put the appliances in, they lock the doors (to avoid theft), so after that we won't be able to get in till the walkthrough. I guess those kinds of thefts aren't uncommon- Julie said she's heard of $15,000 worth of kitchen cabinets being stolen (I hope the thief had the same size kitchen!), and I've even heard of thieves cutting out the pieces of copper pipe from the plumbing in new construction, to re-sell as scrap.

It's pretty exciting, even though there will still be lots of work- we're not planning to give notice till mid-month, so we won't have to be out of our apartment till the end of August. This gives us time to do some painting, re-do some of the lighting, install the ceiling fans, stuff like that. And move all our stuff, of course!!!

a lazy Sunday

Well, not much on the agenda today- that is somewhat in self-defense, as you will see below...

Friday on my way to work, one of my new (less than 2 weeks old!) tires blew; thankfully it happened right outside the entrance to the parking lot, so I managed to limp into a parking space. One of my co-workers was nice enough to use his AAA membership to get my tire changed, so I could get home. (AAA is probably something to look into since we do so much driving, and the highways here are much larger than the ones I'm used to driving on in Illinois- I don't even want to think about having a flat tire on I-10, with 5 lanes of traffic one direction!)

Then, Tom called from the airport, on his way to Chicago, and said he had locked his keys in his car in the parking lot! (Thankfully, this was after he had gotten everything out of it.) After work, I drove to the airport, found his car, and took out the keys, just so they weren't in the ignition all weekend. Driving in places like that isn't exactly one of my favorite activities, but I managed to find the west economy parking lot, and even more miraculous, I managed to find his car relatively easily!!! (And, I managed to get out of the parking lot within the 10-minute grace period, so I wasn't charged for being there.)

Yesterday, I took my car back to Sears, where they replaced my tire- since it was within 30 days, I only had to pay the $1.52 environmental fee for disposal of the ruined tire. I asked the customer service manager "What are the odds of that happening?" and his reply was, "I've never seen it happen that soon." So, I'm just lucky, I guess- or is that unlucky??

I was thinking about driving down to Maricopa today, but decided after the last couple days of car issues that staying home is probably safest (at least mentally, anyway). So, Sedona and I are hanging out in the AC, watching the Food Network and doing some housecleaning. And, this evening, I will meet Tom at Terminal 4, to get his keys back to him. A lazy Sunday, but all I'm willing to take on, today.

June 11, 2006

finally, some progress...

So, there's been some progress! On Saturday, they were installing drywall. I caught them in the act; I didn't stay long, since I didn't want to be in their way. I only stayed long enough to see how far along they were (about halfway- the garage was totally completed), and that Tom's music room was insulated, as per the plan (it was!). The second and third pictures are for comparison- the second picture is from yesterday, looking across the street; the third picture is from the first time we looked at our home site. Quite a difference!!! It somehow shrinks down the scope of things a bit- without any houses, you can see all the way over to the palm trees at the entrance- now, the view is limited to the houses across the street.

I also took a drive to where Phase 2 of the Homelife Communities subdivision will be going up; alas, no more sheep- turns out where we saw the sheep is exactly where those houses will be built! Last weekend, we found out that the house plans for Phase 2 are totally different, and that we got a good deal... there are 6 or 7 house plans for Phase 2, only 2 of them are one-story, and those 1-story plans are only about 1300 square feet each!!

This weekend has gone by pretty slow, actually- probably because Tom is still gone (he'll be home on Wednesday night), so there wasn't much on my agenda. I went in to work yesterday, to make up for being out on Monday- I had to get new tires for my car, since I had a nail in one of them that wasn't repairable. I had needed new tires since before we moved, actually, but we had been putting it off. So, while my car hung out at the Sears Auto center, I hung out in Borders Books for a couple hours.

Today, Sedona and I have just been hanging out indoors, playing a little laser pointer tag, and taking a nap. Rough life- she gets to do that every day!

June 05, 2006

one more try...

because the first time, Sedona stepped on the power-strip switch, and "poof" my post was gone! That's what I get for playing ball with her while I'm trying to type, I guess... since we can't play outside...

because it's HOT! The temp in the shade by the front door is about 105; it only drops into the high 70s at night; not very "low" lows- we did have a couple weeks there where we could open the windows at night, because it got down to 70, or so, but no more of that for a while, unfortunately. I know it's hard to believe, but 105 degrees really doesn't feel that hot. (The only thing, though, is when it's windy out, it reminds me of standing in front of the oven with the door open.) Our apartment is nice, with all the windows, but the fact that they face west does pose a problem for our A/C... the thermostat is by the office, in the shade, so it's never as cool in the living room as it is in the office.

We've had a couple weeks of just doing pretty normal stuff; Tom was home till yesterday, which is one of the reasons that I haven't updated the blog in a while... so, let's see-

My birthday weekend was pretty nice, overall- Tom got me the first 2 X-Men movies, and we watched them (even though he doesn't really like sci-fi sorts of movies- what a guy!). We also did a couple things I've always wanted to do, which were bowling and miniature golf. We found out we're both too competitive to just have fun, darn it... both things were fun, overall, but we both wished we knew how to bowl- the guys in the next lane were bowling in the high 100s, while we were lucky to just get the ball down the lane. My highest score for bowling was 75, I think, which was also about what my miniature golf score was- crappy scores for both sports!

We also went out to dinner and a movie with our friend Dennis recently; we saw the animated movie Over The Hedge, which is about woodland animals trying to live on the edge of suburbia (and steal all sorts of junk food, etc. from the suburbanites). My favorite character was a hyperactive red squirrel named Hamilton- there was a hilarious scene of him following a laser pointer across a roof, down a downspout, and across the yard, which is how Sedona plays with it!

Saturday we headed down to Maricopa, to check out the house- the last couple weeks, we've been sort of disappointed because it doesn't look like much is happening- no insulation, no drywall... But we did find out that it just passed the frame inspection on Friday, so hopefully this week they'll get going on it again. Our sales associate is still trying to tell us she may get us a June closing, but I'm pretty sure she's just saying that to make us feel better... and, we'd rather it be done right than quick, in the end.

Tom left for the east coast on Sunday, for another whirlwind trip (he'll be gone at least a week, but I say whirlwind because they try to cram so much into these trips). I don't even remember where all he'll be, except that I know right now he's driving to the New Jersey coast from the Pittsburgh area (I think).

Well, back to the ball-playing puppy, so I get her good and tired out before this evening!