Aug 1, 2005

Back in Philly

So we are home at last!

We arrived on Friday, around 12 noon, and got into our house. At first, I was so stunned by how much dirtier and trashier our neighborhood is than the one in Charlottesville. Both mike and I noticed that right away - how dirty some of the city streets are. Our street, thank goodness is very clean and very filled with trees.

Anyway, we went in the house and at first, it wasn’t as big as we had been imagining, which was really good! The house itself is in great shape, really clean. We can live in it right away, and work on it as we go, so first thing we did was unpack the car and set up camp in our upstairs bedroom. Then my parents came over with steaks and chicken and we went to the storage unit and got out our grill and patio furniture and set it up on the new back patio. Mike’s parents stopped by on their way home from the airport and then my brother Patrick and our friend Steve stopped by too. It was fun. We all ate on the patio sitting on boxes and stuff, and shared some wine. They all loved the house, and it was a great way to celebrate the end of our journey and the beginning of our new journey.

As we have been here, more folks have stopped in and we've gotten started on the wallpaper removal in the downstairs. The great thing is that, unlike the last house, there are no dark and scary places, nothing that worries me and nothing that I cant live with for a few weeks. There are no spider colonies hiding in the closets. The difference I feel in the karma of this house against the other one is pretty dramatic. It feels so much better, more positive. Everything went very smoothly with the purchase and with all the neighbors have been stopping to introduce themselves, which is really different than Charlottesville (Only one neighbor came over to say hello when we moved in and many never ever introduced themselves). It also helps that Mike's brother lives across the street with his partner, Robin...that will be fun! So for many reasons, it already feels so much more like a home than our other street in Charlottesville ever did.

The floors that were under the carpet are not too great and the wallpaper is coming off very slowly. We're about halfway through the living room. Basically, wallpaper removal goes like this:

  1. Score the walls
  2. Spray the walls with Dif
  3. Peel layer 1 of paper off
  4. repeat the process for layer 2 and then try to get all the little pieces off.
  5. Wash the glue off
  6. Sand the wierd spots
  7. Prime it

So needless to say, things are going slowly here -- the foyer wallpaper is all off, and all of the border in the kitchen and dining room. Mike is taking the popcorn ceiling off in the foyer in the morning and then it will all be ready to paint in the foyer. We started peeling the living room paper and I expect that 2 more full days of it and we should have all the downstairs walls ready for painting too. So it is coming slowly, but to be honest, we are doing it somewhat slowly. We are also exploring the nieghborhood and trying to get out at night. My mom and Dave's partner Robin both stopped by yesterday to help which was a HUGE help so we got more done than we would have alone. Today Mike's mom and Aunt Bette came by and dropped off all these tools, rags, ladders and Jersey fresh produce for us.

Otherwise I love the neighborhood and so does Mike. He's happy with the house - and the location and I know he feels that I will be safe here and happy while he is gone all week. And in general both of us feel a lot better about this house than we did about the last spider colonies, no surprises really and lots of good energy. So many neighbors have stopped to say hello and introduce themselves, and our local democratic committee person came over to welcome us and give us voter registration cards. Yesterday morning we walked done to Christian Street for brunch at Sabrins's (Yum it was fantastic!) and as we walked, we ambled through the Italian Market and I could tell that Mike felt excited about having all of that fresh food and gourmet cheeses, meats, his fingertips, which makes me glad.

Okay so in a burst, that’s the scoop. Its great to be here!
p.s. The blogs are going to continue, but in a less frequent (like once a week) way.

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