Saturday, May 1, 2010

Almost-friendly cats and more house activity

I'll start with the really important news: This morning, Sammi and Minnie came into the kitchen within seconds of each other and neither one ran away--everybody was hungry, so apparently it didn't matter who else was in the room. THEN, a little later, the two kitties sat on the vanity--together! at the same time!--while Minnie got a drink from the faucet! Sammi had gotten her drink right before that, and Minnie jumped right up there, too--unprompted--for her share. There was no growling or hissing until right at the end when Minnie turned to jump down again. Maybe she hissed then to remind Sammi who's boss.

We've been letting the cats just duke it out on their own, since they're not actually fighting and Minnie's not avoiding Sammi quite as much as she did at first. Things have really improved between them, and while their relationship isn't perfect, we think they'll eventually settle down amicably together, especially after we all move into the new house and get "normal" again.

As to the house: Yesterday afternoon, Sister A. and I met the inspectors (termite and building) at our future address and got a report on all the things they found--which was nothing huge except for the HVAC system, which the seller has agreed to have serviced for us to make sure it works. The only termites were found in discarded wood outside the house, but the seller will have the whole place treated (and the bad wood removed) just to be sure no bugs got in the house. There are a few other things the seller agreed to fix for us before we close, and the rest of the inspector's list of other, more minor defects will serve as a to-do list for us in the coming months.

We might be closing in as little as three weeks, as we've decided to carry both mortgages temporarily until my current house sells. That sounds bad, but we've checked our budgets (both joint and separate), and with the savings on utilities and groceries (two can always live cheaper than one), we can handle it. It helps that the mortgage on my current house has a very small monthly payment compared to most nowadays...even compared to the monthly rent on most apartments! In late May, college teachers and soon-to-be students start playing fruit-basket-turnover, lining up housing for the next semester, and we'll definitely benefit from that, if we don't get a buyer sooner. But it will sell--small houses are like catnip to college students who don't want to live in a dorm for four years.

Having control of both houses for a little while will be extremely helpful, as we can get the whole interior repainted before we put a stick a furniture in the place. We can also fetch A's furniture from its out-of-town storage facility at a separate time from moving the POD full of my stuff to the new house, so we don't have to do all that work in a single day. And all our furniture--from both households--will be in the new house when we bring the kitties into their new home (they'll have to be shut up in one room of the current house while we deal with the POD, but they'll be fine), so when they arrive, everything they recognize, with all its familiar smells, will be ready and waiting for them. They'll both be able to run around and sniff and rub on things to their hearts' content.  :)  And they'll have a lot more room to run around in!

Since we're going to have the interior repainted, why, of course we had to go pick out colors today! First, though, we went to a fabric store seeking inspiration (a la HGTV) and curtain possibilities. We found gorgeous stuff for all the rooms except my bedroom, and only skipped that because we'd already picked out some brown microfiber blackout drapes online for my room. But we got on a color kick at the fabric store, and now the drapes we picked for my room look boring by comparison, so we'll be heading back for something more fun, and A. will just sew a blackout-type liner into them. (I have trouble sleeping in less than pitch-darkness--that's why I need blackout drapes.)

After the fabric store, we went to Home Depot and picked out a bunch of paint chips to take home and compare to the various fabrics, plus we also looked at vanities, vanity tops, faucets and other hardware, pulls for the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, and various other whatnot. We wrote down prices for later, as we'll be doing our major redecorating as we get the money over the next few years. New bathroom vanities and so forth, for instance, will probably happen after my next tax refund. In the meantime, we need to take out a tree that's much too large for the backyard, take out some shrubs that have gone wild and replace them with nicer plants, replace two storm doors and the patio door, and fix the fence gates. And A. will be slaving over a hot sewing machine, making drapes (hey, she volunteered!).

We've decided to hire out the painting, because A. has a condition that makes it bad for her to be exposed to paint fumes very long, plus it would take us waaay longer to paint the whole house ourselves than to let a pro do it. So we're meeting said pro over at the new house tomorrow to go over the colors and get an estimate on the work. Included in the job will be taking down the little dab of wallpaper in the kitchen (an icky maroon-and-cream floral); we're just not wallpaper people.

We're so excited and eager to move into the new house. It's going to be such fun fixing up, and a lovely place to live.  :)

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