Life and Times

Life and Times from 2017

Life and Times from 2016

Life and Times from 2015

Life and Times from 2014

Life and Times from 2013

Life and Times from 2012

Life and Times from 2011

Life and Times from 2010

Life and Times from 2009

Life and Times from 2008

Life and Times from 2007

Life and Times from 2006

Life and Times from 2005

Life and Times from 2004

Life and Times from 2003

Life and Times from 2002

Life and Times from 2000

New House

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 4

At this point, it was about 1:00 PM, and everyone took a break for lunch.  We would all reconvene at the house at around 2:00.  Elyse and I went to the Boston Market and the GameStop in Aspen Hill, and then headed up to Montgomery Village.  We got there around 2:05, which had me a little concerned (the moving company charged by the hour, and I didn’t want to make them wait), but thankfully, we beat the movers there by about five minutes.


Ready to unload!

Ready to unload!


First item in was the couch, in its new position in the living room.

First item in was the couch, in its new position in the living room.


The kitchen table, in what will eventually be a more formal dining area.

The kitchen table, in what will eventually be a more formal dining area.


Upstairs, the bookshelf situation really worked itself out.  I wasn't entirely sure where I wanted the two double bookcases, and planned to move them around later to eventually figure out the right place to put them.  Then when the movers brought them in, they placed them side by side in the back bedroom, and it was perfect.

Upstairs, the bookshelf situation really worked itself out.  I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted the two double bookcases, and planned to move them around later to eventually figure out the right place to put them.  Then when the movers brought them in, they placed them side by side in the back bedroom, and it was perfect.


Boxes and such in my bedroom, placed around the air mattress.  Boxes and such in my bedroom, placed around the air mattress.

Boxes and such in my bedroom, placed around the air mattress.


My desk and TV cart in place up in the mezzanine.

My desk and TV cart in place up in the mezzanine.


My old bed and dresser in Elyse's room.

My old bed and dresser in Elyse’s room.


Boxes in the kitchen.  Getting the kitchen fully operational would be the first order of business for me after the movers left.  All dishes, glassware, and silverware would go through the dishwasher before being put away.  Boxes in the kitchen.  Getting the kitchen fully operational would be the first order of business for me after the movers left.  All dishes, glassware, and silverware would go through the dishwasher before being put away.

Boxes in the kitchen.  Getting the kitchen fully operational would be the first order of business for me after the movers left.  All dishes, glassware, and silverware would go through the dishwasher before being put away.


My bike, hanging on hooks in the utility room.

My bike, hanging on hooks in the utility room.


The lawn furniture, now on the deck.

The lawn furniture, now on the deck.


The living room, after the movers left.  It was nice to see the couch as a couch again, rather than as Elyse's nest.  The living room, after the movers left.  It was nice to see the couch as a couch again, rather than as Elyse's nest.

The living room, after the movers left.  It was nice to see the couch as a couch again, rather than as Elyse’s nest.


That evening, we went shopping.  Elyse got a new television for her bedroom, and we also spotted a particularly awful suit that we couldn't let go by without commenting on.

That evening, we went shopping.  Elyse got a new television for her bedroom, and we also spotted a particularly awful suit that we couldn’t let go by without commenting on.

That evening, we went shopping.  Elyse got a new television for her bedroom, and we also spotted a particularly awful suit that we couldn't let go by without commenting on.


And that was that, I suppose.  The apartment was empty, and we now lived in Montgomery Village.  The only things left at the apartment were the food in the refrigerator, a box for trash, and cleaning supplies.  The movers did an amazing job, and I highly recommend Town & Country if you’re planning on doing a move in Montgomery County.

The plan for the rest of the first night was to wash dishes and do laundry, since I had to go to work the next day.  I had deliberately left the dirty clothes in the hamper ahead of the move, because (A) I didn’t want to spend money on laundry at the apartment when I had my own equipment at the house, and (B) all of my work clothes would be in that hamper, i.e. I knew exactly where they were, and so no need to hunt for them.  Work was a certain level of normalcy for me while my home life was a bit topsy-turvy, since nothing changed at work except for my new, longer commute.


On November 25, I set my computer up in the mezzanine.

On November 25, I set my computer up in the mezzanine.  The arrangement is the same as it was in the apartment.  Unlike in the apartment, however, the television was now next to my desk to the right.  That allowed me to run an HDMI cable from the computer to the television, giving me the ability to use the television as a third monitor.


The next big task was to go to IKEA to get some furniture.  I had this big house, after all, and I needed to furnish it.  Fate intervened a little bit in this case.  The Soul’s original engine finally gave up the ghost on November 28, and so, already having planned the IKEA run for that week, I rented a larger vehicle than I otherwise would have gotten while the Soul was in the shop, obviating the need to rent a U-Haul for the furniture run.  And thus I took a 2017 Ram 1500, which Elyse named “Kevin Wiggins”, to IKEA.


Elyse found her furniture, going with Kallax shelving and a Fredde desk.  Elyse found her furniture, going with Kallax shelving and a Fredde desk.

Elyse found her furniture, going with Kallax shelving and a Fredde desk.


Our big haul loaded into the back of Kevin Wiggins.

Our big haul loaded into the back of Kevin Wiggins.  This included Elyse’s furniture, as well as a queen-sized Hemnes bed, four Hemnes nightstands, a Hemnes dresser, a Haugsvär mattress, and a replacement toe board for the kitchen.  Major thanks to our friend Dave, who joined us on this trip.  He helped arrange everything in the back of Wiggins, helped carry everything into the house, and even assembled Elyse’s desk.


The big focus in December was on getting settled in the house and getting things set up.  In early December, there were still a lot of outstanding items to complete, and I was still sleeping on an air mattress.  By the end of that month, it looked like we lived there, though we were still by no means finished.


On December 7, we got a new television up on the wall with help from Aaron Stone.

On December 7, we got a new television up on the wall with help from Aaron Stone.  When Elyse and I measured the wall, we determined that a 50″ television would fit best.  I originally was going to get a 1080p model to save money, but then when we went shopping, I ended up buying a 4K model.  As it turned out, the 4K model was only $50 more than the 1080p models, but unlike the older models, it had a Chromecast built in.  Thus when you factor in the cost of the Chromecast, the difference was only about $15 for a far superior television.

The image on the television is from the “You’re taking me for a ride” advertisement from when the Silver Line opened in 2014.


Elyse, Aaron, and I also got my new dresser put together.  Finally, I could stop living out of boxes and baskets.

Elyse, Aaron, and I also got my new dresser put together.  Finally, I could stop living out of boxes and baskets.


The next thing to come together was the bed.  I ordered a Zinus box spring on Amazon, and I assembled it up in the mezzanine.  The idea was that because the mezzanine had carpet, I wouldn't risk accidentally damaging the wood floors below during assembly.  However, getting that massive box spring down the stairs was a challenge - but I managed.  The next thing to come together was the bed.  I ordered a Zinus box spring on Amazon, and I assembled it up in the mezzanine.  The idea was that because the mezzanine had carpet, I wouldn't risk accidentally damaging the wood floors below during assembly.  However, getting that massive box spring down the stairs was a challenge - but I managed.

The next thing to come together was the bed.  I ordered a Zinus box spring on Amazon, and I assembled it up in the mezzanine.  The idea was that because the mezzanine had carpet, I wouldn’t risk accidentally damaging the wood floors below during assembly.  However, getting that massive box spring down the stairs was a challenge – but I managed.


On December 16, I finally got a real bed again after a month on the air mattress.  The air mattress wasn't bad by any means, but I definitely prefer a real bed.  On December 16, I finally got a real bed again after a month on the air mattress.  The air mattress wasn't bad by any means, but I definitely prefer a real bed.

On December 16, I finally got a real bed again after a month on the air mattress.  The air mattress wasn’t bad by any means, but I definitely prefer a real bed.

On December 16, I finally got a real bed again after a month on the air mattress.  The air mattress wasn't bad by any means, but I definitely prefer a real bed.  On December 16, I finally got a real bed again after a month on the air mattress.  The air mattress wasn't bad by any means, but I definitely prefer a real bed.


The bed is complete.  The mattress extends above the top of the footboard by about six inches, which was a bit too tall for me.  I swapped the box spring out for a lower profile one by the same manufacturer, which brought my bed down to the height that I wanted.

The bed is complete.  The mattress extends above the top of the footboard by about six inches, which was a bit too tall for me.  I swapped the box spring out for a lower profile one by the same manufacturer, which brought my bed down to the height that I wanted.


On December 22, I got my nightstands assembled.  On December 22, I got my nightstands assembled.

On December 22, I got my nightstands assembled.


You know how they say that we all turn into our parents eventually?  The exact term that I used to describe this filing cabinet was "Raymond Junior".  My father has a nearly identical filing cabinet, and he's had it since the nineties.

You know how they say that we all turn into our parents eventually?  The exact term that I used to describe this filing cabinet was “Raymond Junior”.  My father has a nearly identical filing cabinet, and he’s had it since the nineties.  I even bought the same color.  It is visible in an old quote article from 2000 about round words.


In December, I was pretty successful in making the house look like a home.  Most of the furniture was in place, and the moving boxes had been consolidated down to one room.  On December 29, I got photos of the entire house from top to bottom to show my progress as of the end of the year.


The mezzanine is more or less complete.  The computer desk is in place, the shelf is in place, and I got an Ektorp loveseat from IKEA in order to round out the space.

The mezzanine is more or less complete.  The computer desk is in place, the shelf is in place, and I got an Ektorp loveseat from IKEA in order to round out the space.

The mezzanine is more or less complete.  The computer desk is in place, the shelf is in place, and I got an Ektorp loveseat from IKEA in order to round out the space.


My bedroom is just about complete.  All that I had left to get there were lamps and curtains, which I did in January.  My bedroom is just about complete.  All that I had left to get there were lamps and curtains, which I did in January.

My bedroom is just about complete.  All that I had left to get there were lamps and curtains, which I did in January.

My bedroom is just about complete.  All that I had left to get there were lamps and curtains, which I did in January.  My bedroom is just about complete.  All that I had left to get there were lamps and curtains, which I did in January.


The back bedroom was where all of the remaining boxes went.  Elyse and I had those taken care of by the end of January in order to host an overnight guest.  Neither one of us wanted to put him up in the living room, and so we busted our butts for two nights to get that room in service in order to set up the air mattress.

The back bedroom was where all of the remaining boxes went.  Elyse and I had those taken care of by the end of January in order to host an overnight guest.  Neither one of us wanted to put him up in the living room, and so we busted our butts for two nights to get that room in service in order to set up the air mattress.


The living room is still very much a work in progress, as other efforts took priority over fully outfitting the living room.  The living room is still very much a work in progress, as other efforts took priority over fully outfitting the living room.

The living room is still very much a work in progress, as other efforts took priority over fully outfitting the living room.  An Ektorp chair that I would buy later certainly went a long way towards defining the space, and created a separation between the living area and the dining area.


The kitchen is complete, save for the chairs.  I used the chairs from the table in the living room in the kitchen on a temporary basis in order to get the breakfast bar in service while I searched for counter height chairs.  The chairs were absolutely too low, but they worked well enough.  The kitchen is complete, save for the chairs.  I used the chairs from the table in the living room in the kitchen on a temporary basis in order to get the breakfast bar in service while I searched for counter height chairs.  The chairs were absolutely too low, but they worked well enough.

The kitchen is complete, save for the chairs.  I used the chairs from the table in the living room in the kitchen on a temporary basis in order to get the breakfast bar in service while I searched for counter height chairs.  The chairs were absolutely too low, but they worked well enough.  The permanent chairs, which I ordered from Zadia Wood Center in Rockville, arrived in March.  I installed the replacement toe board in January.


Elyse's room.  She had her bed, dresser, desk, and shelving completed, and she had an area rug.  Her room was also the first to have curtains installed.

Elyse’s room.  She had her bed, dresser, desk, and shelving completed, and she had an area rug.  Her room was also the first to have curtains installed.


And then the last task was to formally vacate the apartment.  That was the final step in the process of getting the apartment ready to turn back over to the property management.  The move happened on November 16, I picked up the food from the refrigerator on November 17, and then Elyse, Aaron, and I gave the place a thorough cleaning on December 7.  On December 31, I made one last visit to the apartment before work in order to do a final walkthrough and ensure that everything was as I wanted to leave it.


Arriving at 3355 Hewitt Avenue for the last time.

Arriving at 3355 Hewitt Avenue for the last time.


The living room.  Even after a thorough cleaning, you could still tell exactly where all of the furniture had been.  The living room.  Even after a thorough cleaning, you could still tell exactly where all of the furniture had been.

The living room.  Even after a thorough cleaning, you could still tell exactly where all of the furniture had been.


The kitchen, returned to them in better condition than when I got it, considering the new floor.  The kitchen, returned to them in better condition than when I got it, considering the new floor.

The kitchen, returned to them in better condition than when I got it, considering the new floor.


The bathroom, about as clean as we could get it, with the original incandescent light bulbs from 2007 back in place.  Yes, I saved those bulbs for over a decade in order to put them back when I left.  The bathroom, about as clean as we could get it, with the original incandescent light bulbs from 2007 back in place.  Yes, I saved those bulbs for over a decade in order to put them back when I left.

The bathroom, about as clean as we could get it, with the original incandescent light bulbs from 2007 back in place.  Yes, I saved those bulbs for over a decade in order to put them back when I left.


The bedroom.  There is a clear lack of wear on the carpet where the bed and dresser used to be.  The bedroom.  There is a clear lack of wear on the carpet where the bed and dresser used to be.

The bedroom.  There is a clear lack of wear on the carpet where the bed and dresser used to be.


Bedroom closet.  That was a huge closet, and I'm definitely going to miss that sort of storage.  Bedroom closet.  That was a huge closet, and I'm definitely going to miss that sort of storage.

Bedroom closet.  That was a huge closet, and I’m definitely going to miss that sort of storage.


In my final inspection, I found a few things that had been missed.

In my final inspection, I found a few things that had been missed.


Locking up and leaving for the last time.  Locking up and leaving for the last time.

Locking up and leaving for the last time.


The Soul, parked in my reserved space for the last time.

The Soul, parked in my reserved space for the last time.


Turning in the keys.

Turning in the keys.


And there you have it, I suppose.  Over the course of 2017, I successfully transitioned from renter to homeowner.  Slowly but surely, it’s all been coming together, as the house gets a little closer to fully outfitted every day, and various projects get underway.  Owning my own home is going to be a fun adventure, and I am excited to take it on.

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Part 4