Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Confessions

I think it is safe to say I took on too much (unknowingly) when I declared I wanted to host a baby shower for my sister-in-law with my mother-in-law and then opened escrow on a home. I figured that I am a woman of the 21st century. I can move into a house, upgrade the entire rental side and tape (someday sew) baby shower signs and bake cupcakes by candlelight.

Today is the baby shower, and I can't thank my mother in law enough for picking up my slack. She is a party planning guru like myself, but I just did not cut it this time with the house coming together and the extreme work it requires. Tomorrow our renters are moving in, so everything had to be done today that I was going to do, as everyone knows parties of any kind require prep, logistics, and sometimes that's doubled when they feed into a birthday tapas-red wine tasting party for your husband :)

It is going to be a long, but very fun and very rewarding day. I'd like to confess that I think I have the best mother-in-law EVER and I hope she knows how much we love her!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Two Day Study in Customer Service's Decline at Office Depot

I'm not sure if it is the full moon or just my old fart ways, but I am thoroughly distressed by the sales associates ringing me up these days. I realize it is not every single one out there, but man is it overwhelming!

When I worked retail, I always greeted the customers with a hello, asked if I could help them, and tried to fill the gaps when they spoke and returned answers. Basic stuff. I used the small part of my brain that was required to complete transactions and they were on their merry way.

It seems that not all sales people are created equal. I am naive to think they are, but ever the optimist, I hope. In the past two days, I have gone to Office Depot four times. Three out of the four times I was met with complete idiots behind the cash register. It was as if a beacon opened up one day and they all went to apply at the various locations. I am not sure if it's lack of social skills, common sense, a hair dryer, or all three. Each time I walked out my brows were raised with a "did that just happen" thought bubble.

Because I expect so much out of myself when I worked retail, I expect that of others. And for them to just do their job. When I find a great sales associate I remember their name and will often go back just to bring them business. In n Out gets lucky for that and the phenomenal food, but you know what I mean. Others deserving shout outs: Trader Joe's, F-town Ace Hardware, and one lady at Michael's. Now Michael's deserves a post all their own, and I swear this is a shining star I found. She seems to actually like working there. Gasp.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Confessions

Bless me reader, for I have sinned. It's been TOO LONG since my last confession. Being sans Internet will do that to you. But, we are back in business! Feels so good to have a real laptop as my computer, not a phone.

As for confessions, yesterday I did my first real homeowner yard work chore: raking leaves. Certainly nothing that deserves accolades in the slightest, but when you are raking your own leaves on your own street that have accumulated for about a month because the previous owner stopped, it's a big deal. One and a half trash cans full, big deal. We didn't want to be That House. You know, the one that has terrible landscaping and jacaranda blossoms everywhere. Well, we are, at least the latter, but so is the entire neighborhood. I did manage to get all of the magnolia tree's leaves.

Granted today we've had winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour, so the leaves are back in abundance , again.

Silver lining: at least it's making the paint dry faster in the kitchen with the windows open.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Day My Phone Fell in My Coffee

The day will live forever in infamy, as I chastise myself for stupidly thinking I could carry the mug, phone cradled atop, and my peanut butter English muffin in the other hand. All it took was one movement, and BAM! The phone I did not buy insurance on, my first real "smart" phone and current Internet connection, submerged in a coffee pool garnished with milk and sugar.

The man at Verizon was not very helpful nor amused by my story. Perhaps he feels empowered by the idiots who bring in their now rendered useless electronics that he must try and fix. At least when he was able to open it, more coffee came out. "It's usually toilet water," he informed me.

$200 later, I bought a refurbished phone that was supposed to arrive overnight (Saturday) but notsomuch. Now FedEx is going to try and deliver while I am not home, but at work, and I am guessing I'll finally have it my hot little hands come Wednesday after their three attempts requiring a signature. Mind you this is after he told me overnight delivery as I originally did give my work address since I am there all day and assumed it would be next week. Gah.

Several problems have currently come of this: In the days that will now be known as When I Had a Phone, I made appointments for home repair bids and of course I gave that number out to several professionals: one electrician, one floor installer. I have a feeling there may be a few angry messages come later this week.

In the meantime, if you are a friend reading this, and have texted or called me, assuming I receive your texts and voicemails, I will call you back. In the meantime, I will graciously take advantage of Scott's MacGyvered method of Internet on the weekends, and of course, you can always get me at work.

By the way, this started the day where come 10 a.m. I was quoted $7k to put central heating in. Next Friday is looking really good right about now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Settling In

You are officially a homeowner if you:
a) have been to Ace Hardware/Lowe's/Home Depot/Sears over 15 times in two days.
b) have a rewards card to any of the above stores
c) have started a Rolodex (thank you Kerri!) of helpful contractors/plumbers/electricians/etc.
d) all of the above
e) all of the above plus crazy anxiety because you are a worry wort to begin with.

Officially homeowners, officially landlords, officially seeking ways to naturally manage my stress, anxiety, and need to vomit randomly through the day at the thought of responsibility.

Somehow, I think we'll make it.

Tonight marks night six that we've been in our new home. Each day feels more like our own, though the refrigerator's arrival today definitely helped that edge away from the camping-inside-plaster-walls feeling.

Scott and I can't thank our parents enough for their labor in helping us move out of the apartment, into the house, and tear up the carpet, which is much, much, much more involved than I imagined. Truly, thanks all around.

The projects and to-dos are beginning to look like Santa's gift list. However, as the anxiety creeps up and a boulder begins to rest of my chest, Scott very nicely reminds me that we have 30 years to get things done.

Well you can bet I at least have the living room paint color picked out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Home Sweet Haselton

The Haseltons have a new house!

Scott and I are the proud new owners of not one, but TWO houses! Shocking, but our fabulous beyond words Realtor to the stars, Cristal Drake, came upon a duplex and we were pretty much sold.

The lessons we learned while house hunting were many and well beyond the scratch-the-surface House Hunters episodes. Cristal taught us how important working with qualified professionals through every aspect of the process was extremely critical. We were very lucky to have a great agent representing the sellers, as well as a lender who rivaled Kerri's presence in my life at times we spoke so often! This great representation made the transaction as smooth as it could relatively be, or so I've learned. Frankly, I have no idea how people do this multiple times. The paperwork, fact checking, re-checking four more times, and constant verification of some mundane detail is exhausting. Then again, people were buying houses with 400 credit scores and no money down, so I understand.

The house is quite charming, and we are embarking on an adventure together as homeowners as well as landlords since we will rent the other side out. I am positive this blog will see a shift to the lessons learned in DIY home projects as well as my feeble attempts at decorating where Kerri will be enlisted to help this boring beige woman out.

While this is wonderful news today, I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge two other exciting events-my mom's birthday and my in-laws wedding anniversary. May 6 is a pretty big day in this fam-bam's history!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Confessions

I do not harbor any secret desire to be a movie star, but if there were one role I'd love to play on television, it would in a historical reenactment. I love the drama, the adventure, and the reckless abandon. My reenactment of choice: the south during the Civil War. Pretty much your standard Scarlet O'Hara.