For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Falling into place

All the details of the move are falling into place. My husband was able to get the afternoon off on Friday, so we've changed the time we've booked for the elevator for something earlier, which also gave us a longer time slot. I've got a time booked for the move in inspection, which means we get our keys Thursday morning. The girls and I will start hauling boxes over with the car pretty much right away.

Tomorrow will be our last day of cooking before the move, and we'll be using disposables for eating and drinking, which will allow me to completely pack the kitchen, other than what's in the fridge. It will also be our last day of nothing but sorting, getting rid of a few last things and packing. Once we have the keys and can start moving things out, we'll be able to start at least a bit on the cleaning, but I'm not too worried about that at this point.

My darling husband was also able to convince the leasing office to schedule the move-out inspection to the first. The weird part about that is that they kept insisting they couldn't change the time because it was their policy - that we had to be out by noon on the last day of the month, as they didn't have staff available for an inspection later in the day. My husband pointed out that we were paid up for the month, not the month minus half a day. He also told them that if they insisted on this, then we weren't going to bother coming back to clean the place, and might not bother being there for the move-out inspection at all.

That's when the person looked up our apartment in their system and discovered that the new tenant won't actually be moving in until the 2nd.

Funny, how they were suddenly willing to accommodate us.

So this will give us a full day to clean an empty apartment, which will make life SO much easier. It'll reduce the cleaning time by a huge amount, not having to work it around stuff. It will certainly make it better for us physically, as we will have time to get a good night's sleep after we move everything out and at least unpack our bedding, rather than have to come back in the evening, then again in the morning. I know only too well how tired we're going to be!

I also made arrangements with them to do the carpet cleaning, rather than us phoning around to find a company. I've been asked to let them know when we're done our cleaning, and they'll take care of the carpet after that. Another detail I no longer need to worry about.

Which means that this will be my last post here for a few days. The next post I make will be from our new home.

It's going to feel so good when it's over.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More frustration - but at least some good news, too

Shortly after we made the arrangements for our move, there were a few things we were told that would have made things quite a bit easier, as far as the details of actually moving go. I was told we should have the last 5 days of the month to move in, for starters.

Well, that's not quite working out. At first, I expected we'd get the keys on the 24th. Then my husband talked to them and was told the 25th. This morning, I got a call and found that we get our keys after a move in inspection, which we have to book for the 26th.

It seems that so much work has been needed to finish this unit, it won't be until the 25th that they'll have a company come in to clean the ducts.

Here's the frustration. When I gave our notice to our current landlords, the final date we have this place is the 28th. Now, from previous moves out of apartments, I've encountered situations where tenant one has to be out by noon on the 1st, so that tenant two can move in after noon on the same day. So having a move out date of the 28th... well, it's a good thing we have an empty place to move into.

Then we got a note from the landlord talking about, among other things, the move out inspection. We were given a choice of two time slots in two days. The 27th and the 28th! And both time slots were in the morning.

We don't even have the elevator booked until the early evening of the 27th. How on earth are we supposed to have a move-out inspection before we've moved out?

We're booked for the later time slot on the 28th. It's still going to be tight. We've got a cleaning list and, while it's pretty basic (sad, that they have to go so far as tell people they need to replace burnt out light bulbs), it's a lot of work, even with an empty apartment. Since the inspection is on the morning after move out, we'll have to come back late in the day, just to clean the place. Sure, we can do some of it in advance, but some of it will have to wait until the place is empty. Oh, and we're supposed to hire a company to do a professional carpet cleaning. No home rentals and doing it ourselves. They do give the option of letting them book it for us, for a set fee. We'll be going that route. I have to find out if that will come out of our damage deposit.

Which is another frustration. In the 3 years we've been on this floor, we are the only ones *still* here. Every other apartment on this floor has seen multiple tenants during this time. Some apartments, like the one directly across from our door, has seen as many as 5 different tenants. Granted, some of these are internal moves - people moving to different apartments within the complex - but that's still a high turnover.

So we've have plenty of opportunity to see what goes on in between tenants. Some apartments have needed renovations, so they obviously were empty for a while. Nothing like that is going to happen with us, though. There's already another tenant listed for our apartment! I am guessing it's another internal move, since they've never shown the place.

With a quick turnover like this, we have often seen the building maintenance staff cleaning the apartments after the tenants have left. Not just a professional carpet cleaning, but basic washing of floors and walls, etc. Plenty of people leave without doing ANY cleaning.

Now, I can't bring myself to do that, but at the same time, going through this list, I don't see how we'll have the energy to do so thorough a cleaning right after we've finished moving into our new place, then be back for a morning inspection.

Since I have to call them about the carpet cleaning anyhow, I think I'll ask about the damage deposit, and if I can just use that to pay for cleaning. :-/

The good news, at least, is that we now have set dates and mostly set times. I still have to hear back from the person I have to book a move in inspection with. I've left a message. I was told that, if I can't get through to her, I should call back the office and I'll get booked with someone else. We can book the inspection for early on the 26th, get the keys, and we're done. We can start moving in right away. The girls and I will make at least a few trips to get some boxes and bins out. I will probably empty at least one of the bins out so we can use it to move refrigerator contents.


Had things gone the way they were supposed to, we'd be doing a move in inspection and getting the keys tomorrow instead of 3 days from now.

Ah, well. We'll manage. It's not like we have much choice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some random thoughts...

Just taking a bit of a break, going through my news, procrastinating because I really don't want to go digging around in the kitchen and starting supper...

Ignatieff wants at least 20 minutes with Obama

You know, I'd really like to give Ignatieff the benefit of the doubt. I'd love to give him a chance. Unfortunately, the more I read about this guy, the less I like him. He seems to be egotistical and completely out of touch with Canadians in general. I am totally unimpressed with his habit of making demands and apparently assuming that, just because he things things should be done one way, the powers that be should do what he says. Take this article I linked to above. Since Harper, as opposition leader, got to talk to Bush back in 2004, Ignatieff thinks he should get to talk to Obama during the upcoming photo op... er... I mean, visit. He's even saying what he plans to talk about with the president.

Memo to Ignatieff: Who the h*** to you think you are, making all these demands? You're not the Liberal leader yet. You're not the leader of the opposition. You are the INTERIM leader. Yeah, I know - no one's bothering to run against you, but until you're officially sworn in at leader in May, you're just there to keep the seat warm. You are in no position to demand anything, and you certainly don't represent anyone, since no one's had the opportunity to actually, you know, VOTE FOR YOU as Liberal leader.

Then there's this story.

Charest condemns Plains of Abraham threats.

I was aware of the infantile whining from the separatists about a proposed re-enactment of this historical battle. It's absolutely silly. These sorts of re-enactments are done for many different battles and no one reads any insult into them. They are HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENTS. But not the separatists. Oh, no! These people are still chewing their livers over a battle lost by the French 250 years ago. To them, re-enacting this battle is an insult.

As if that weren't bad enough, I read this.

Mr. Charest suggested that separatist groups were to blame after invoking the possibility of violent confrontation with radical federalists if the federal National Battlefields Commission had gone ahead with the re-enactment.

The Commission decided on Tuesday to cancel the event because of the safety risk it said the historical re-enactment would have posed for spectators and participants alike.

WTF??? People were actually *threatening violence* over this? How idiotic can they get? Just how pathetic does a person have to be, to get to this point? Hullo, people. The battle was 250 YEARS AGO! The French lost. Get over it. Better still, be grateful that they lost to a nation that allowed them to keep their own language and culture; an anomaly for conquering nations. Conquerors were often more interested in wiping out their foes, and/or restricting their freedoms so much, they'd never be a threat again.

Bah! Enough.

Time to stop procrastinating and start supper.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We've got a date

As of today, we have a solid move-in date. Truck is reserved, elevator is booked. Keys to be picked up a couple of days earlier, so we can make a few trips with the car with smaller stuff.

The unit isn't quite finished yet. They're sanding and painting the baseboards before putting them back. There's that final vacuum to get rid of the dust from renovating, and they're bringing a company in to clean the ducts.

Meanwhile, we've got boxes. We've got packing tape. We've got markers.

Time to get down and dirty. :-D

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Empty walls

A bit more progress on the move today - there's only so much you can do before you're looking at stuff that you'll actually need to use before actual moving day. Since we've been in a semi-permanent state for the last 3 years, I've reached that level rather quickly.

One of today's big jobs is to clear the walls. (The other is cleaning the oven... grumblewhinesnark) I'm just sitting a bit to let the blood return to my arms. The joys of being short. ;-)

Right now, all I've got left on my walls are a few hangers that will have to wait until my much taller husband gets home, a clock and a calendar. Everything else is white.

No more posters, maps, photos, paintings by my daughter... it's all blank.

Blinding, empty, white walls.

The same white our bedrooms will be in the new place.

Well, at least the rest of the place won't be white.

Now to find ways to pack stuff. Things that have frames and glass get wrapped in the linens. That way, I pack up two areas at once, and I don't have to buy special packing materials to protect my breakables.

Then it's back to the oven.

It's going to be SO good when we get to the point that I can just pack everything and not pick and choose what has to wait.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Yet another disappointment


I finally got a call back from the co-op about the townhouse we're moving into at the end of the month. I had left a message asking about the colours, hoping that the woman I spoke to had reached the maintenance guy in time to get just the one colour for paint, and not use white. I'd forgotten she was on holidays, though, so it took a while, and it was another woman who called me back.

First, it turns out it was too late to catch the guy. The bedrooms and upstairs bathroom are in "cool white." Eldest has already said she doesn't plan to unpack until after she finds a colour they *will* approve, and paints her room herself. Of course, we will have to buy the paint and do the work ourselves, but she says she'll pay for it herself, if she has to. I don't blame her.

I did bring up during the call that we had the impression we could choose almost whatever colour we wanted for the bedrooms - I even double checked with the girls, in case I was remembering wrong, but they confirmed how I remembered it. We were asked to avoid colours that would be difficult to paint over (and clearly, their definition of "neutral" is much more limited than is typical). I suppose Youngest's colour might've been a bit much, but Eldest's was about 3 shades away from grey, and the bedroom and bathroom colours shouldn't have been a problem at all. Cost, however, was apparently another factor. It would've been nice to know that ahead of time. It seems the colours we picked would've been more expensive because of the tinting involved to get the shades. Having never had to buy interior house paint myself, I have no idea.

Second, the carpet colour was described to me at being "not the lightest" but a light shade of tan.

So it's basically beige.

Beige and white. That was pretty much my nightmare.

That wasn't the end, though. It turns out that our choice for lino, which hadn't been brought up when I found out about all this, was also not approved, because it was "too dark." The alternate? A light coloured "hardwood floor" pattern.

We had chosen a stonework pattern. One of the reasons I thought it was good was that, with the grey tones it had, including shades of grey, grey blue, greyish green and a hint of greyist pink, it was something easy to match with. However, with such a light carpet colour, of course it would look dark! Still, there were quite a few stone patterns in the sample book. If the guy had to pick something, couldn't he have gone with another stone pattern??

So we went from stone patterned floor to light hardwood, dusty rose carpet to beige, shades of green for bedrooms and a mid-tone blue for the bathroom, to white. The only colour we picked that stayed was a very pale shade of green we'd selected for the "public" areas, upstairs and down. A colour I know worked well with the other colours we picked, but I still can't picture going well with the colours the maintenance guy picked.

Suddenly, I feel sympathy for the woman that moved out.

Now, that there should be limits to what we could pick, I have no problem with. Budget constraints, I completely understand. Had we been told our colours weren't acceptable right away, we could've quickly picked something else. Time was of issue. I had dropped off the samples with our choices on Friday afternoon, shortly after 1pm, and they were buying the materials by Monday morning. I'm pretty sure we could've come up with something over the weekend.

On the one hand, we're getting a completely renovated townhouse, and we're not having to pay a dime towards the reno. And it's really not that the substitute choices are overly horrendous. I mean, we've lived in places with some pretty unfortunate colours and patterns before. When you rent a place, it's a given that you don't have a choice for that sort of thing.

This, however, isn't just another rental. This is supposed to be our upper-case-H Home. Not just another temporary abode, not knowing how long we'd be there, or not planning to be there for more than a few months. This is supposed to be long term. Not only that, but we are moving into an established community, a close neighbour, where everyone works together in a partnership that keeps things going. That we were able to choose our own colours was part of making this our Home, instead of just another place we happen to be living in for a while.

So it's not about the colours that bothers me. It's that we told we could make these choices, and one person took those choices away. And no one told us. We weren't given the option to make other choices. Suddenly, it's not going to be our Home anymore. It's just someone else's place that we're going to be living in. Someone who thinks we should live in beige and white and pale hardwood floors.

I still think it had more to do with the maintenance guy being ticked over the mess he had to clean up from the previous resident than because our colours. We did try to stay within the guidelines, as we understood them.

While talking on the phone, it was brought up again how they really try to stay with neutral because, should for some reason we end up leaving in just a few years, it makes it easier for them to prepare for the next residents. What I couldn't help thinking (and a nasty side of me wishes I'd said) was that, by doing this, they've pretty much guaranteed that we *will* be moving out in a fairly short time - just as soon as we can find a place that really will be ours, and were some guy I saw for about a minute, has the power to take away our choices and replace them with his own.

The woman I spoke to was very apologetic about it all. Like the other woman I spoke to, she seemed almost embarrassed to admit what had been done to us. She tried to explain the whys of it, but I think she realized that "why" wasn't the issue. It was the "how."

I'm still looking forward to the move. We've needed a bigger place - and the lower costs - for a while. It's a step up from where we are now. It may even be that, after we've moved in, I'm going to totally love being there, get to know some fantastic people (the ones I've had the chance to talk to so far have been great), and we all might really enjoy living there and never want to leave. Until we actually move in and live there for a while, who knows?

But right now?

Right now, it's become just another apartment, just another house, just another rental.

Just another place we happen to be living in.

It's just another home, instead of Home.

And that makes me feel very sad.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tougher then dinosaurs

I found this story in my morning news and just had to laugh when I got to this part.

In the coastal city of Townsville, floods were blamed for washing a freshwater crocodile into the street - where it got run over.

The 1.6-metre-long crocodile survived and was being treated for an injured eye and several broken teeth.

Only an injured eye and some broken teeth? After being run over?

No wonder these guys outlived the dinosaurs! LOL

Monday, February 02, 2009


We've been pretty busy, preparing the apartment for the upcoming move. The landlord is sending someone over to inspect the apartment to see if any renovations are needed. They gave us a 5 day spread, starting tomorrow, of when someone might be coming over. Of course, the place is a disaster right now, as we sort through things and decide what to get rid of, what can be packed early and, of course, cleaning.

The girls and I have seen the new place, which was an even worse disaster than our apartment right now. *L* The previous resident was actually voted out - a rare thing in a co-0p - and she'd left quite a mess behind. She'd made a lot of unapproved changes that will need to be fixed during the renovation. We brought home samples to choose the new lino, carpet and paint colours.

Since they have to keep in mind that, if we end up moving out a few years down the road, they'll have to do this again, we were asked to keep the "public" areas in more neutral colours. In other words, avoid things like bright red, which would be almost impossible to paint over, but we could choose whatever we wanted for the bedrooms and upstairs bathroom (oh, and the place really is the second and third levels - there's an assisted living unit underneath us). The girls picked dark greens for their bedrooms, I picked a mid-range greyish blue for the bathroom to match the lino, and a mid-range green for the master bedroom. The rest was going to be a very pale green. All four of us liked a dusty rose colour for the carpet and a mixed stone pattern with greys, blues and dark greens for the lino. We were pretty excited about our choices, and I got positive responses when I dropped off the swatches and showed our choices at the office.

This morning I called the co-op to get our new postal address. After getting it, the woman I was talking to then dropped the bad news.

The maintenance guy rejected most of our colour choices.

The very pale green and the lino were ok, but he chose a tan colour for the carpet and the other walls were going to be cool white. I'm hoping she was able to get ahold of him before he bought the paint, as he was already leaving to get it. I quickly told her that, if he had to change the colours, to just do all of it in the very pale green. The last thing we wanted was white!!!

Now, she wasn't the least bit happy telling me this. When I showed her our choices, the only thing she did was make sure I realized how dark those greens would be in a whole room for the girls' choices. I'd left it to the girls to choose whatever they wanted, and she was ok with that. There aren't "public" areas, after all.

Apparently, the maintenance guy can not only overrule our choices, but can make his own choices without consulting us. I guess this sort of hits it home. Although we're part owners of the complex once we buy are shares, and the unit is ours, it's not really ours. (Hmm... doesn't that contradict a democratically run complex?)

We completely understand their need to keep future costs down - the carpet alone will cost $8000 to replace - but we would have appreciated it if we could've had another chance to decide. Or at least be told our choices were being rejected before he went to buy something else! I could've given her other choices over the phone, if time was such an issue. Otherwise, why give us a choice in the first place? Perhaps he's still reeling from all the chemicals he's had to use to fix what the previous resident did - he'd just acid washed the tub when we saw the place, and he still had to strip the paint she'd used on the metal bannister.

The thing is, part of the excitement of getting our own place was that we were finally able to choose our own colours. Sure, our choices were somewhat limited - I found that reasonable - but it irks me to no end that our choices were simply taken away from us arbitrarily by one person.

So now I'm not sure about the colours at all. The carpet will be "tan." Well, that could be any number of the colours in the sample book. We'd actually considered a couple of them. I'm really hoping that it isn't beige. Beige would be as bad as white walls. However, we picked the pale green because it went well with the dusty rose carpet. I'm having a hard time imagining that green against any of the "tan" samples I remember in the book.