Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Oh gosh, your backyard is a mess, is your kitchen any better?"

As a matter of fact, yes it is!  We've only been living here about a month, but I'm proud to say that at least our kitchen is somewhat organized.  The kitchen has its quirks for sure, however.  There are cabinets, but they're placed in very inconvenient places.  "Or maybe you have put things in inconvenient cabinets?" a friend smartly suggested, and that's a possibility.  However, in the case of the corner cabinets, I don't think it would fix the placement of the cabinet door (it opens so that the door opens towards you instead of away, making it very difficult to see the contents of the cabinet because the door is in the way).  That's something I will have to fix.  Anyway, I finally got to hang my vertical veggie basket (thrift store find for 2 bucks!), and really that's all that matters, right?  And, somehow the weird table thingy that I made out of cabinet doors I found on the side of the road manages to fit and work really well in the space.  

Stove, teal handmade cabinet table, awesome vertical hanging basket, microwave that we're keeping temporarily only because it has an exhaust fan on the bottom of it.  The actual microwave has never been used.  Great use of space, if you ask me. 

Drawers (thrift store finds), hanging things, plants (hat Kitty doesn't like to eat for some reason--she's not a fan of orchids).  Just like with my visual art, I try very hard not to buy anything new that I know I can find used at the thrift store. 

I found this little drawer set at a garage sale, and tea bags fit perfectly in them. 

Tea bags in jars. 

Finally found the measuring spoons--they were missing the whole time we lived in our Balto apartment.  It wasn't until we were unpacking everything in our house that we realized we'd put them in the storage facility...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

TOOK A [trip to the] DUMP! And lost my faith in humanity...

Remember that huge (yet organized) trash pile in the back?  Well--it's gone!!!


Yes, we finally took all of that rat-smelling-wood to the dump, and we've rid ourselves of the majority of the rat nest in the back.  All that remains are the large pieces of cement and brick that we will hopefully use for our future patio and raised beds.  Don't worry, we've properly patted ourselves on the back.  Believe me, it was a very huge ordeal.  Because of the smell (that produced sneezing and coughing) we both wore masks and gloves.  What a nasty job.  It took 3 loads in our Rav 4.  And, to answer your question (I know you're thinking it), our car is probably has some residual critters still living in it--most likely come cockroaches, and maybe some spiders.

We'd seen so many rats hanging out on the pile every night that, that I was convinced they were living in there.  For real, not just "a rats nest" because it was funny to say it.  As we were reaching the bottom of the pile, I remember saying, "Man, I'm surprised that we have not run into any rats yet," and turning around to continue sorting the debris.

Of soon as I say this I hear a slow scuffle behind me.

I twirl around and see this scene:

Peter is cradling a gigantic piece of concrete in his arms, and he's rocking back and forth saying, "Oh geez, oh geez, oh geez..." because at his feet is a humongous rat that has been hiding below the very piece of concrete that Peter just removed!  The rat, seeming to be just as confused and startled as Peter is (most likely also saying "Oh geez, oh geez...") tries to figure out which direction to run and the scene resembles perfectly the cliche "sidewalk scene" (you know the one where the two people run into each other and tries to pass each other on the same side, and run into each other again when they try to pass on the other side, and then it repeats over and over?), and finally chooses a direction that Peter cannot go--under the fence and into the alley.  As that rat lumbers away (it's fat!!!) I am confused because Peter hasn't stopped his two step dance.  Because--I realize--there are more!!!  Two baby rats (still the size of large mice) make their way for a hole in the fence, escaping Peter's feet as well as the very good chance that they would be smashed by the large piece of concrete that is somehow still harbored in Peter's arms.  When they scamper off, Peter finally sets down the concrete and we have ourselves a little giggle of relief...No rat bites here!  (Or dead smushed rat remains! Woo!)

Anyway, that incident, along with the cockroaches (there were hundreds) made us feel like our backyard was a nature preserve.  

But I swear, our lives are more than a battle with rats!  Look!  We stacked our bricks!

And here is a picture taken from the dump (we were waiting in line to drop our rat-boards off).  Look how pretty!  There's more to that story, maybe I'll write a separate post.  I'm still scarred from the dump trip, I think we both are.  We saw a woman dropping a marble sink into the dump pit, and a man dumping perfectly fine wooden chairs, a beautiful table, antique mail shelves (I've seen ones like them at antique stores for hundreds)...ever hear of a THRIFT STORE?  Or we have this amazing warehouse similar to Habitat for Humanity that takes all kinds of building materials, cabinets, furniture called Second Chance.  I couldn't believe that these people did not even try giving these things a chance at a second life.  Ugh!  Obviously I'm upset about it, and shouldn't get started right now.  

Oh look!  A distraction!  I smell a rat...Yup.  This is just but one of the holes that the rats have dug in our yard.  We think they're living right next to our warm foundation, and that they have done so for years...Each day we go out and stick bricks into their entrance ways.  It probably doesn't do much except inconvenience them (and it makes us feel better).  Maybe our lives really are just a battle with rats...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

*CUE ANGELS SINGING* ("Ahhhhhhh!!!!")

Yes, folks.  The day has finally come.  We have officially become adults.  I know, I know, it took a long time.  I've always been a late bloomer (probably can say the same for Peter), but my adolescence is over.

We now own a vacuum cleaner (*Cue singing again* "Ahhhhh!!!!).

The path was long and hard getting here.  It may have given us permanent lung damage, but definitely provided increased mucosal activity, sneeze attacks, and at one point (this was the last straw) a respiratory attack.

You see, we had (and still have--though it's much better), a dust problem.  It covered anything.  A blackish grey colour.  Slightly greasy, it stuck to the things it settled upon.  I was afraid to drink out of a glass that had been sitting out in the open for more than an hour.  That was a long enough period of time for the bottom of it to be covered in the filthy film.

We opened the widows, the front door thinking, "Gah, we need fresh air, we can't live this way!  We can't breathe!"  And it would be better, until we closed the windows for the night, and it would seem to be worse than before.  "What?!  How can this be?!  Where is this DUST coming from?!" 

Well--we finally figured out (or at least we think we have--one can never be truly sure about such things) that it was most likely COMING from outside (road dust--from the tires, exhaust, and actual breakdown of the road), and opening the windows was actually making it worse for obvious reasons.  That night I thought I was going to die from coughing.  The next day we purchased the


And it has been amazing.  I'll have to post a picture of all of the dust we've already collected.  The first day that we used it, it was sickening at how much dust had been covering our floors.  Ugh.

Oh, and we have cockroaches in the basement.

...And I suspect some drug dealers were trying to hide a stash under my potted plant in the front (remember the cute one that was climbing the rail?).  I heard them out there and opened the curtain real fast to glare at them and they went away.  But I can see it might have other functions other than being pretty, green, and cute as a button...who knew?