Sorry for the blogging silence. I don’t technically have an internet connection of my own (or cable, or a phone line — sorry Comcast!) . At home, I’m surfing on the free Wireless Philadelphia network, which connects me to my beloved interwebs at the blistering speed of 24Mbps. Actually, it’s only 24 when I sit up. If I lie down on the bed to write, it plummets to 2Mbps. Whatever — as long as it loads the Benjamin Moore color selector application, I’m golden.

Speaking of which, I’ve been messing around on the Benjamin Moore site for days as I try to come up with a color combination for my dining room. It’s a tough thing to do; the room has a chair rail, so I can pick two different wall colors, but it also had very bright orangey-blond cabinetry, a blue slate floor, and an awkward green countertop. Fitting all of that into one harmonious color family is, uh… challenging.

Luckily, Benjamin Moore has so many pre-loaded color combinations on their website to help me decide! Here’s a great one:

Thanks, painting experts! I’ve always wondered how I could make Halloween last all year.

I should update, but I’m not in the best of moods. This past week has been crazy; arguments, settlement, moving boxes, money flying out of all of my accounts, emails whipping back and forth… I’m happy to be in the new house, but I’m also unsettled by the feeling that everything has changed.

And I don’t just mean the colors of the walls (’cause theoretically, that can be fixed!). But my old habits, my old friends, our old hangouts… I just can’t see any of that following me up here. It’s like I’ve left the nest, so to speak. Like one of those crazy Mandarin ducklings on Planet Earth, jumping from their home in an enormous tree before they’ve learned to fly.

You know what? Watching that clip would probably make me feel better. At least they manage a soft landing. Here it is:

Waste not, want stuff

Another first today: I finally learned how to use my cruise control. And I set it to — gasp — the speed limit. Guys, it’s hard to drive 55! (Or, in my case, 65.) But I’m trying to be more waste-conscious, along with all the other broke people I know.

Speaking of waste, I made my first purchase for the house last week, and it just arrived yesterday:

A set of coasters made from recycled wallpaper! If you haven’t been to Etsy yet, go. The sellers are amazing. I can’t even decide which set of homemade damask printed throw pillows to buy, because I have too many choices. Uh, nor can I pick a paint color to match them to. But that’s a problem for another day…

Home, sweet….

Yesterday, my parents, my buyer’s agent and I all met at the new house to get it inspected. The first time I stepped inside the place was on the day when I saw seven other houses, too, so a lot of the details had slipped my mind. Luckily enough, now I have them captured in digital format! So here we go — a Flickr slideshow of my (and my inspector’s) photographs:

Don’t laugh. Too much, anyway.

As you an see, the current owners like wood. Really, really like wood — ceilings, floors, trim, walls, cabinets, shelving, radiator covers… Also, they’re fond of the goldenrod yellow / painter’s tape blue color combinations.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m starting to develop a list of things to help make the place feel brighter and more modern:

1. Prime the ceilings white, at the very least.

2. Repaint the living room, dining room, and master bedroom with lighter (and less abrasive!) colors.

3. Save up to have the living room floors restored (rip up the carpet, refinish the hardwood).

4. Save up to have the master bedroom, hallway, and staircase re-carpeted in something lighter and more durable.

5. ???

6. Profit.

House Hunt: Day 31

Offer accepted. Unbelievably enough.

So… all of this happened much faster than I expected. I started pouring over the real estate listings on June 1st, and here we* are exactly one month later, with the house selected, the paperwork signed, the mortgage approved, and the settlement date, well, settled.

On Thursday, we get the place inspected. In August, we barbecue? :D

*I must have answered this question a bazillion times, but one more won’t hurt: when I say “we”, I mean “me and my buyer’s agent” or “me and my mom and dad” (or in the last case, “me and everyone I know who might like grilled zucchini”). Not to be confused with the kind of “we” that might indicate that I’ve gone and gotten hitched, or anything of the sort.

House Hunt: Day 25

Although the search for a new place to live is always stressful — the “lose sleep, eat nothing but Cheetos, wonder how many blankets the shelters will give you when you’re homeless” kind of stressful — sometimes you just have to laugh. In my case, I’ve recently had to laugh at:

1. The house with no bathroom sink. Toilet, bathtub and mirror, yes, but no sink — and no room for one, either. Apparently, many of the small rowhomes from the 20’s were designed with this layout. You were expected to wash your hands in the tub. Now I understand why I’m reading so many listings that enthusiastically point out the “three piece bathroom!” I used to think the owners were desperate to make their list of renovations sound longer — “who doesn’t have at least a three piece bathroom?” I said to myself — but now I realize that these rehabbers had to knock a bedroom wall back to squeeze in a sink.

2. The house with no kitchen roof. Well, the rafters were there… but the actual ceiling was made of 1′ x 1′ squares of aluminum sheeting, probably purchased in a roll from Home Depot and cut by hand with a pair of kitchen scissors, and attached willy-nilly to the rafters with a staple gun.

My god, I wish I had taken a picture of this. Talking about it just can’t do justice to the horror. Picture a shiny, rippling river of flimsy scrap metal shards. Now picture it hovering directly above your refrigerator.

3. The house “renovated” by a woman who obviously knew less than I do about home repairs. “Believe it or not, this is all new sheetrock!” she proclaimed. “I just didn’t know how to seal up the seams, so I did the popcorn ceiling thing over it.”

“She’s lying,” my realtor whispered to me. “That wall hasn’t been touched since the 70s.”

The owner of this tremendous disappointment also claimed that when she updated the heating system, “the law” prevented her from installing the new ducts inside the walls of the house. So she just ran them straight through the rooms. My favorite “oh, crap” moment was when we realized that the heating duct in the kitchen was horribly bent out of shape from the back door smashing into it every time it opens.

4. The Granny house. Pink plush carpets on every floor, floral wallpaper on every wall, a different floral wallpaper on the ceilings (!), and pictures of the last two Popes hanging in the kitchen.

After witnessing all of that, the house I’ve settled on looks like heaven (it’s not, of course — it has its quirks), but I’m not going to get into that yet out of fear that I’ll jinx my offer. And then I’ll spend the next few months peeling aluminum sheeting off of my kitchen ceiling.

House Hunt: Day 24

Going see eight places this evening. This number probably represents all of my remaining options in this general neighborhood, so here’s hoping one of them works out.

It feels strange to be moving again so soon. Now, each time I come home, I can’t put my purse down on a piece of furniture without thinking, “Oh crap, how do I get the legs to detach from this thing, again? Where did I put all of those pesky IKEA allen wrenches? How many cardboard boxes do I have left?” I go to bed thinking about resurfacing floors, and when I wake up, I comb Etsy looking for art to fill all of my future walls. (I love this rice paper cutting, for what it’s worth.)

I can’t imagine how crazy I’ll be when I’m actually living in the new house, staring at said walls.

I’m not ready. I need window boxes for plants, and a blender, and a new computer desk, and a vacuum, and area rugs, and an air conditioner…