Adventures in Homeownership

According to the letter of the law, I was, however technically, previously a homeowner. We are now in a new house, though, and this is the first time I feel like a home-owner. Something about being there for the inspection and walking through all the components of the house made a notable difference--I am the person who knows the most about everything. Unpacking has been a bear: we had a storage unit already, and got a second to get things out of the old house in order to show it, and both of these had to be cleaned out by the end of the month. In other words, we spent two, two and a half months slowly getting everything ready to go, and now we fight the daily battle to bring order from chaos. At least most of the furniture is in place.

Random items of interest, loosely defined:

°After believing myself to have remained bookshelf-neutral for the last two years (no mean feat), it turns out we will need at least one more bookshelf, and this after having punted out all my cookbooks to a separate location.

°We had a maddening ant problem shortly after arrival. The ants were maddening because they would only ever show up one at a time, or in groups of ten or less, and never take us to their point of ingress. Patient walking around the foundation has found two candidates, which will hopefully put us on course to solving the problem.

°I mowed the lawn this weekend, for what I estimate to be the first time since 1998. It was in the course of doing so that I discovered, appearances notwithstanding, that almost none of the yard is flat or uniform in its slope.

°Talking with one of the neighbors, I learned that the previous owner nuked the lawn last year by applying undiluted weed-killer to it. The entire (dead) yard had to be dug up and re-sodded. This is why my lawn looks better than anyone else's.

°The lawn mower came with two sets of instructions, one from the mower manufacturer and one from the motor manufacturer. They frequently, amusingly, referred me to the other manual ("there's probably something about this in the other one, I dunno"). The assembly instructions were charmingly inaccurate and very forthright about it--("we don't really know what your lawn mower will be like when it ships, so here's a guess about what you might need to do"). More amusingly they would occasionally directly contradict each other ("DO NOT USE FUEL WITH ETHANOL IT WILL DESTROY THE MOTOR RIGHT AWAY" vs. the motor manual's "Anything 10% ethanol or below is fine and doesn't need treatment").

°The neighbors are all freakishly demographically close to our family, which we would not otherwise have been able to guess. They are all nice and laid-back, very much unlike our old neighborhood. I also believe I have met this neighborhood's Bobby Cobb, and he and I will get along just fine.

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