Mac n’ Cheese Manor: The delivery guys who didn’t deliver and why is the toilet water hot?

The weather was rather uncooperative this past week so I have no updates on my adventures in learning how to make old, ugly furniture new again.  That said, we still accomplished plenty!

My first update relates to the plumbing.  The new septic is in and the company that did the work even re-seeded our lawn!  On their last day, while they were still cleaning up, Carl and I made ourselves mimosas and went to the side yard to chat while his mama was in the shower.  As we came around the corner of the house, I noticed water just bubbling up out of the ground!  At that time, we both thought they may have burst a water pipe with their heavy equipment, but no, in fact, it was a very old school system in which the grey water was piped into the yard and ONLY toilet water went through the septic system at all!  Ew.

Luckily, we noticed while the work was still in progress and once the issue was discerned, they scheduled a plumber to run all draining water through the septic system.  When he came out last week, we decided to go ahead and ask him about an issue that had been confounding us from day one:
Why is it that our toilet occasionally refills with hot water?

Now, I don’t know about you, but until living here, I had never once seen hot water in a toilet.  But sure enough, every once in awhile, we’d flush and steam would billow out of the bowl!  Also, it was hard to tell which valves were for hot and which were for cold on all of our sinks because it seemed all of them would go from cold to hot and back again!  Very strange.  And when we asked, judging by the confused/concerned look on the plumber’s face, I’m pretty sure he thought it was very strange as well.  He agreed to take a look and went on down into the basement.

Turns out, there is a little thing called a “sweat valve” that can be placed near the inlet to the toilet and if the water is cold enough to cause condensation on the tank, it will automatically mix in some hot water.  However, on our house, instead of using an actual sweat valve, there was a two-way, manual valve that just mixed all hot and all cold together for everything.  Thankfully, all it took was removing said, manual valve and we had normal, separate hot and cold water throughout!  Oh the things we are learning as we dig into this awesome, crazy, old house!!!!

Okay, onto the furniture.  : )

Some of you may recall that we bought furniture and it was delivered a couple weeks ago but the delivery guys said it couldn’t be moved in because it simply would not fit unless we took it through the window.

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Well, our ancient windows don’t just open up. I’d have to get the drill and literally remove the whole thing in order to do what they wanted.  Also, because they would not touch anything but the furniture under any circumstances, it wasn’t going to happen because even if I got the window unscrewed, I could never have safely gotten it down without another pair of hands.  I suggested we take the doors off the hinges and they said that wouldn’t work.  Needless to say, I was not impressed with them and even though I was pretty sure the furniture would fit, I decided I’d rather not have them try because they clearly weren’t interested in doing a good job.  So I had them take it to the barn where Carl and I could fetch it later.

Later turned out to be this past Saturday.  And, with just a few doors off the hinges, we managed to get both the couch and the chaise in-in no time!  I won’t say it was easy, but it was definitely easier than “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Delivery Services” made it out to be.  : )

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So now we have a couch!  And a chaise!  And after five months with no furniture other than a bed and a dining room table, it feels soooooooooooooo good!  : )

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The weather is supposed to improve drastically starting tomorrow, so we’ll hopefully be able to get back to sanding and painting shelves and such for the laundry room/pantry this week.

That’s all for now, happy Monday, Everyone!  : )

Mac n’ Cheese Manor: C’est la vie!

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

First and foremost on my list of things to tell you today is that I was wrong . . . about the rodents.  We do, in fact, have an unexpected and not particularly welcome house guest.  The good news is that it is not a mouse or rat.  The bad news is that it is a squirrel.  A SQUIRREL!!!  We have a squirrel visiting our attic every night.  I’m not sure why it somehow bothers me less than the idea of a mouse.  Maybe because squirrels are cuter?  I’m not sure, but regardless of the cute factor, the squirrel has to go!  I’m not too keen on killing it, so the plan for now is to simultaneously work on trapping it as well as sealing off the places where it can get in (much easier said than done, this house is HUGE and has many nooks, crannies, and spaces).

Which brings me to my next topic: indoor camping.  When the appliances arrived the day after we moved in, I was super excited!!!  We had our cold stuff in a cooler overnight and I had dishes and laundry to clean!  We knew our stove wouldn’t be here until the eleventh, but figured we’d be fine for a week.

Our first issue was that the outlet where the fridge goes didn’t work.  Then, when Carl got home and tried to install the dishwasher, he saw that one side of the frame was so badly bent you couldn’t open and close it properly.  So no dishwasher.  The fridge I plugged in where the stove will eventually go, so that was fine and while Carl was working on the dishwasher, we discovered that the breaker for the fridge outlet was just off, so that was quickly resolved as well.  We are still waiting for a call back regarding the dishwasher, but in the meantime, we’ve been informed that our stove and microwave will not be delivered until April 30th!!!!!

So we are getting creative.  This morning, for instance, I put frozen blueberries into a ziplock bag and set them on the radiator in the entryway.  Within about five minutes they were not only thawed out, they were warmed up and ready for our yogurt!  We also rummaged around and found our rice cooker and hot plate.  With all that and the crock pot, which we have yet to locate but I’m confident we will soon, we’ll be fine until the end of the month.

On to number three, this morning, I woke up and picked up my 8 month old daughter only to find a TICK behind her ear!  Now, to be fair, I knew we were moving into tick country and we did a lot of homework before moving into the house on how to handle the tick situation.  Lyme’s Disease is big here and can happen in both people and dogs.

Turns out, according to our pediatrician, the tick has to be embedded for 24-36 hours before you are likely to get Lyme’s.  We also found that there is a method for most safely removing ticks where you use tweezers, place them as close to the head/mouth of the tick as possible and pull slowly/gently/steadily so as to remove the entire thing and not squeeze the contents of the tick’s belly into whoever you are removing the tick from.  I know, it’s gross, but worked beautifully this morning and I was able to easily remove the entire thing in one go.

I check her at least twice a day for ticks, so I wasn’t entirely shocked, but it was still so incredibly horrifying to see it on her!!!  Generally, I am not a vengeful person and I was raised to understand that nature is nature, but the mama in me wanted to hunt down this tick’s family, destroy them all, and litter their bodies outside our door as a warning to all the other ticks to leave my baby alone . . . just kidding . . . mostly.  Instead of that, I squished it in a wad of toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet.  Then I washed her ear with soap and water and put a bit of antibiotic ointment on it.

Through all of this, my husband and I have had a hundred laughs, several “what are we going to dos,” and at least five complete overhauls of our original plans.  Such is life and I have zero regrets.  This place is amazing and I love that when we see something we don’t like we can change it because it’s ours and we can do whatever we want.  I love hearing the coyotes sing us to sleep and watching twenty or so wild turkeys mill around our yard (hopefully eating a lot of ticks!).  I love that our yard alone is six acres!  I love how happy my dogs are running around outside off leash.  I love the view from any window in our home and it has so many windows!  Our adventure continues, so hang onto your hats everyone, it’s clearly going to be quite a ride!  : )

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