Country Living: Week 1

May 31, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Lesson Learned | 13 Comments

This week, we learned lots of fun things about living in the country.  Like, there are ticks here.  And, when I discovered one on my leg after walking around our backyard, I screamed and pranced around in such a way that it became immediately obvious that I’ve never been camping before.  Seriously.  We’ve since pulled 3 ticks off of Barley (and ordered tick meds for him).  They’re tricky, yucky little bloodsuckers.

Also, we learned that we’re going to have to provide large tips to the movers if/when we move out of here.  The moving truck won’t fit up our 1/4 mile-long driveway, and the movers had an uphill battle.  I felt so bad for them, that I just told them to pile everything in the living room and dining room.  Except the heavy furniture – I let them move that to the appropriate room to avoid potential Jason/Jen furniture moving bickers.  Because usually when we move something, it goes like this, “Pick it up!”  “I can’t, it’s heeeaaavvvvyyy!”  “You HAVE to”  “But I’m not strong enough!” And so on.

If you look very carefully, you can see the moving truck through the trees at the end of our driveway.

Ahem. Anyways, now my living and dining rooms look like this:

Gah!  It’s kind of a drag.  Especially since we decided to spend much of the weekend working in the yard (pictures to come as progress is made!  There is a lot of overgrown-ness and my arms are sore from clipping it!), and the boxes have remained in place, taunting me.

I painted our home office (4 times!) this weekend, and Jason grounded electrical outlets, since (once again) we have a house that is almost exclusively ungrounded.  At least our current home has a plethora of outlets (our previous home did NOT)- there are 7 separate outlets in the master bedroom alone!

On a related note, if anyone can tell us how to identify the first outlet in a circuit, I’ll give you a virtual high-five.  We’ve discovered that if we replace the first outlet in the circuit with a GFI outlet, it would improve the safety of the ungrounded situation.  As for now, Jason has simply been grounding each outlet to the metal box that houses the outlet – the internet seems to advise this solution to the ungroundedness.

We’ve also hit a few local places for happy hours with Jason’s coworkers.  His coworkers (and their spouses) are really a fun bunch and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better!

To celebrate our first week of country living,* we grilled out and had a picnic on our new screened-in porch – grilled chicken sandwiches and fresh Michigan blueberries.  And, yes, that’s the fine china sitting on the little table, because we are classy like that the everyday stuff is still at Jason’s apartment.

*Disclaimer: we are still technically sleeping in the city, at Jason’s apartment.  Because we still have no shower.  I hope to make progress on that this week, so that we can officially live full-time at our new house… I am getting antsy to have everyone and everything in the same place again!



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  1. Outlets – turn off power at the circuit breaker, disconnect wires from the outlet that you think may be the first in line, turn power on, any dead outlets would be downstream from the disconnected outlet.
    However, you may have disconnected the outlet that is second in-line, thus the first outlet would not be GFIC protected. Watch out for kitchen outlets, they usually put a couple of outlets on different circuits so you don’t blow breakers when you have a toaster, waffle iron, coffee pot and hot plate going at the same time. Good Luck!!
    “Home improvement sounds great but it is a real pain in the ASS”
    P.S. – Barley should be on Frontline year round. How are the Skeeters?

    • Virtual high-five! (Also, I think our kitchen is on one circuit – including the fridge – so we’ll be fixing that).
      Barley is on Advantage-Multi year-round which is a topical med for heartworm, fleas, and mosquitos, but doesn’t cover ticks. Which was okay for city living, since we never encountered them! So we bought a tick-only med for this year (until we use up the years supply of Advantage-Multi that we bought over the internet last month) and next year, we’ll probably switch him to Frontline + oral heartworm meds.

  2. If rural Michigan is anything like rural Minnesota, you’ll also soon notice a lot more mosquitoes soon too. Sadly, there aren’t planes that spray mosquito killer out in the rural areas.

    Have you guys started thinking about how you are planning on clearing that 1/4 mile driveway come January? 🙂

    How is Barley liking the wide-openness?

    • Oh yes, we’ve got some mosquitoes, too, but they haven’t been horrible *yet*. I’m a little more used to them than ticks, so I can deal with it!
      We hope to have a snow removal plan by October – Jason wants to buy a beater truck and plow, but we’ll see… I hear Kalamazoo gets lots of snow, so we’re going to have to come up with something!
      And Barley is in doggy heaven. He loves running around in the woods (but never goes out of our sight) and laying in the sun on the front porch. He’s been finding more rodent holes and sniffing them, and I’ve never seen him so exhausted at the end of each day.

  3. Country living needs toys…. not just regular toys but the ones that can work while you are having fun. Here is a snow, summer hauling option.
    I would suggest a set of chains and smoe weights and get the articulating blade.
    P.S. the POS truck will cost you a lot more in repairs.

    • Right, but a “POS”UV has som much more character!

    • I think I’d go the skid steer with a snow blower over an ATV. I see an ATV with its wheels spinning and not moving anywhere 🙂

  4. Sorry forgot this one….

    And so close to home….

  5. Doesn’t “D” spend your money well? Please tell “D” to start researching furnaces, water heaters, and investors for his own repair list, thank you very much!

    • I need a bathtub removed. Maybe “D” can come do that?

    • Ah… waterheater Done… Check!
      Furnace bids in …. Check!
      Roof repair estimates requested… Check!
      Pool work done… Check!
      Lawn fert called in…Check!
      Window rot repair estimate requested…Check!
      Chimney issue review….Check!
      Cavalier brake repair done… Check!
      Rear gutter downspout clog… Under review
      Dog to stop barking at front door…Check (sometimes)!
      mom, looks like my list is well in hand!

      • estimates vs completed projects are two different animals, speaking of animals….when did you last take Comet for a walk?

        • You two should fight on your own blogs! This is a no fight zone! 🙂

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