Yay! minor_architect and kagetsume came to visit!
Yay! minor_architect and kagetsume came to visit!
*spins around until dizzy, falls down*
Sophrani and Kage arrived late Friday night, just after Lut had gone to bed. I'd already made up the futon for them, in hideous but cozy yellow flannel sheets with pears on them. (The design was "pears and leaves", not flowers, as I originally thought.). Kage said he'd rather have had uncomfortable but attractive sheets. I stuck my tongue out at him. Fortunately, Sophrani agreed with me that comfort was more important than appearance on this count.
We stayed up an hour and a half or so, talking and exchanging gifts. Sophrani got me a bottle of raspberry viniagrette from Biltmore Estates (mmm!) and Kage, two boxes of maple sugar candy, both of which I've eaten already. (Mmm!) And they both got me a dehumidifier. Yay! It is, even as I type, busy in my basement, duking it out with my humidfier. No, not really; the humidfier is set to 35% and the dehumidifier to 45%, so they shouldn't be engaged in a death match. (May the best appliance win!) The dehumidifier has been busily sucking water out of the basement air, though. It's got a place where a hose can be attached, so that instead of dehumidfying to a bucket, it'd pour directly into the sump pump. Gotta get a short hose to hook up to it.
Sherri also came on Friday afternoon to dump fill dirt down against the east wall.
Saturday, I made French toast for breakfast, then Kage, Sophrani, and I went out to see the Toy and Miniature museum. (Lut wasn't interested.) The musuem has a whole lot of neat toys (mostly doll houses and furniture, but also a room for model railroads, and one for marbles, and one for the "Gene Mitchell" doll, which is an upscale fashion doll) and miniatures. One of the miniature scenes was of an old-fashioned doctor's office, with all kinds of little pieces of medical equipment in the main room -- a jar full of tongue depressors, tiny scalpel, little bottles of drugs, vials, etc. The back room was the doctor's bedroom. He collected stamps, rather messily -- there was an open stamp book and itty-bitty stamps on the page and falling onto the floor. And a pack of tiny cards. The amount of detail was amazing. We talked about how much jordangreywolf and boingdragon would've enjoyed it. :)
After a few hours at the museum, we got lunch at a Chinese place nearby, where Kage and I entertained Sophrani by wrestling over the check. ("Give it to me!" "No!" "KHANNNN!") Kage won. Darn his reach.
Then we went to the World Market across the street. This wasn't far from where Lut and I used to live, but it had only been there for a year or so and Lut and I had never been. They had an eclectic selection of foodstuff, toys, and home furnishings, mostly in styles from assorted other parts of the world. They carried maple sugar candy, so now I know where to get more, having run out again already. Stuff doesn't last long around me. :9 They had a portable kitchen island which was a good size and shape for my kitchen, but they only had it in blond wood, and my kitchen cabinets and paneling are all dark, so it would've clashed. I'll probably go back in a few months and see if dark wood has come back in style yet. :)
After the World Market trip, we hit the supermarket for Coke and other staples, then went home, toting Chinese food (by now unfortunately cold) for Lut. It had started raining, rather hard, by the time we left World Market, and the leaky areas of the basement had (once again) puddled up. So the fill dirt hasn't made much difference, at least so far. It may be that Sherri didn't use enough -- she works mostly with planting, not construction, so she probably hasn't done much grading work.
I took a nap, and when I got up, spent a couple of hours chatting with Sophrani and Kage and playing with hair. I eventually did them both up with elf braids, then we scooted off to dinner before the sushi place closed for the night. We arrived too late for the sushi train to still be running, so we sat at a table, ordered off the menu, and ate much sushi anyway. Except for Kage, who is weird and doesn't like sushi. He had beef teriyaki instead. This time we did not actually duel for the check -- I was in the bathroom when it arrived, and he had grabbed it by default. However, he kindly conceded it to me after I asked politely for it, um, two or three times.
Once we got home, we collapsed on the futon. We talked a bit but I was half asleep, and a couple of hours later, I dragged myself back to bed.
Sunday morning, more time chatting and playing with hair. (Whee! Hair!) We all went to the Cheesecake Factory for brunch -- Lut and Sophrani ordered breakfast items, Kage and I ordered lunch items, and we all got cheesecake. I tried their new Godiva chocolate cheesecake, which was pretty good, but not the best I've gotten there. Chocolate is good for many things, but cheesecake goes better with other flavors, methinks. This time, the waiter brought the check directly to me (mwahaha!) but I let Kage get it, since he'd been so good about sushi the night before. (What with all the cheesecake, brunch actually came to a bit more than dinner had, in fact.)
Last, we went to Home Depot. Since we were near the one we used to live by, we went there, instead of the one closer to our new home. Alas, this one did not have a section marked, in giant stenciled letters, with the word "CAULK". I went to the bathroom while the others prowled the general area of the paint, looking for it, and then through the rest of the store, finding various spots where bathroom caulk and other caulk-gun products lurked, but I really wanted something I could slather on in large quantities, given the size of the area I've got problems in, and the absence of obvious cracks in much of it. This is the last stab I'll be taking at a cheap fix; if this doesn't cut it, I'll start calling professionals, and probably get something like a French drain put in.
Anyway, we found many other things that we just couldn't live without, but not caulk. We'd decided to ask for directions (gasp!) but then couldn't find an orange-aproned person to ask. While looking for a sales clerk, we stumbled upon th caulk instead. (It was -- naturally! -- with the paint -- but right in the middle, with paint on one side of it and more paint on the other side.) We wound up picking out some fast-setting concrete sealant that billed itself as "stops active leaks!" and for use in basements and swimming pools, so that looked promising. I also got a can of paint-on sealant (billed as "guaranteed to prevent leaks!"), with the notion that I'd trowel on the concrete stuff, let it set, then paint over it with a few layers of the other stuff, and hope for the best. I'll see how it goes; doesn't seem like it should hurt much, in any case. I'm not worried about foundation damage from the water, in fact; my inspector was not confident that the basement didn't have water problems, but he was confident that the foundation was sound. ("If the house was going to slide off its foundation, it would have by now.") The water problem I have now has probably been there since the place was built, and as annoying as it is, I doubt it'll be doing long-term damage to the house itself. I still want to fix it, of course -- but I'm not going to panic over it.
When we got home, we set about moving the futon into the basement. The futon frame is surprisingly worse for wear -- the base board is splintering where the futon slides against when it's pulled out. O.o It is warranteed for life, as I recall, but I'm not sure I care enough to drag the thing back to the store. I dunno. Maybe I'll give them a call and ask about it. I could disassemble it and take back just the splintering baseboard. Or not worry about it; it's not visible and not extensive enough to represent structural damage yet, anyway. (The stain has flaked off and the wood ground down a little, not cracking or splitting or anything dramatic.) Moving the futon down was pretty straight forward -- we moved the mattress down last, and the frame down in the two pieces easiset to seperate. Had to shuffle a few things around in the basement at the last moment to make room, but nothing like the chore that moving the couch had been.
Then we went to get the couch. Lut moved his car, then he and Kage dragged the sofa from the garage. From there, Kage pushed the sofa onto one arm and we shoved the hand truck onto it. We secured the sofa snuggly to it with the ratcheting tie-downs we'd bought for just this purpose. Then Kage tilted the hand truck back.
And one of the tires on the hand truck promptly deflated. Completely.
We don't have a bicycle pump. After some debate over what to do next, we decided to try having all four of us carry the sofa in, one person on each corner.
Past experience from having more than two people try to move something has not been good for me. I expected all the weight and awkwardness to end up on the two guys, while Sophrani and I trailed along ineffectually attempting to shoulder some of the load.
In fact, it worked perfectly, with all of us helping and no one having any trouble holding up their corner. The contrast between Lut and I struggling to move this think on our own, and the four of us doing it together, was frightening. But having one person on each corner made it not only lighter, but also a lot less awkward than one person trying to get a grip on two sides 30 inches apart, where one side weighs twice what the other does. Toughest part was getting it through the front door, and even that Kage and Lut handled easily enough. (It had to be turned sideways for that, and at that point more than two people really didn't help -- nowhere to grip).
I danced around like Rocky on the at the top of the steps once we got it back in place. Hurray!
Kage and Sophrani moved their stuff out to the car, but it wasn't that late yet, so they stayed around a while longer to chat. I tried a few more different hair styles on Sophrani, including a couple to braid back her bangs. She's trying to grow them out now, and they're at the "long enough to be annoying, not long enough to brush back" stage now. Neither of us much liked the look if they were French-braided into the rest of her hair, though. My final attempt left the bangs loose, and had a French braid circling from the nape of her neck, across her forehead, and down the far side. From there, I turned it into a standard braid and bobby-pinned it across the remaining loose hair going down the back of her neck, and into the braid on the far side. Looked pretty cool.
Then they had to go. (Sniffle!) But it was a good visit. Yay! Hopefully I'll get a chance to go out and see them again soon. Maybe late spring, after I visit strangess. (I'm a-comin', Strangess! Probably for several days in late March; I've got it down on the vacation schedule, and as long as they don't reject my request to split my two weeks of vacation up, it should work fine.)