Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eine Kleine Nachtkleenup

I have been a very bad blogger as of late, and rather than blaming my lack of recent posts on the electricity outage caused by the "derecho" storm a couple of weeks ago (I didn't lose power) or on the hectic schedule I had for a week in Buffalo visiting my parents (packing only took two of the seven days), I'll just do a little clean-up duty tonight, and forge forward this weekend.

First up: we have an address!  Yes, folks, the United States Postal Service has recognized our home exists.  We now have an official ZIP+4 address of 9618 Dewitt Drive, Silver Spring, MD  20910-7109.  I know this may seem inconsequential, but it will go a long way in helping us be recognized by different offices we have to deal with, not to mention being able to receive mail.  Granted, we haven't yet gotten a mailbox, but without the recognition we couldn't even request that the post office forward our mail elsewhere, since their computers wouldn't recognize the initial forwarding-from location.  (Sound familiar?)  However, looks like someone (a neighbor? a contractor?) has decided to christen our house with incorrect numbers.  For some reason, we used to have another address in the 2000s, when we the house was placed on Dewitt Circle instead of Dewitt Drive.  When the house was painted, the old numbers finally came off.  But someone, thinking they were helpful I guess, saw that the divots were left from the old numbers and decided to use a pencil to draw on our newly painted house to show everyone our erstwhile address.  I used an entire pencil eraser to take the writing off the wall.  So please, if you're out there Mr/Ms Tracer, go draw on your own house, okay?

Secondly: we have a retaining wall!  And more than that, it's connected with the porch-- so much so that the rooms downstairs are now nearly sealed off from the elements!  It's very cool to be downstairs now and see how the rooms have developed.  The guest room is a bit bigger than I had imagined-- something I think will please the out-of-towners among you.  The bathroom, however, is VERY differently shaped.  Uh oh.  Abby had to go to the house several times this week, and each time she went she came out with a different view of how the bathroom now had to be situated.  I made a quick call to Mark yesterday to explain that he shouldn't buy the vanity we had planned, because it now "made no sense."  Not an hour later, Abby called me gleefully, saying that since the AC unit was now moved upstairs, we could place the bathroom door where she had wanted all along, and the window will now be in the shower instead of towering over the sink, and that, yes, we could buy that vanity after all.  This, after we schlepped the kids to IKEA to look at a differently sized (and half-the-price) vanity she thought would fit better in the bathroom the way she had thought it would have to be.  Basically, and I'll explain with pictures this weekend, the bathroom has gone from two squares to a square and an "L" to a square and a rectangle, due to the build-out of the retaining wall.  But now that the wall's up, it shouldn't change any more.  Hopefully...

Third: our house was NOT affected by the derecho storm on June 28, but our neighbors were.  For those of you outside of DC, a derecho is a new kind of storm that weathermen made up to describe a quick line of powerful thunderstorms that makes crazy stuff happen, like five-ton tree limbs fall onto the roof of the Aloha House, and also like making sure there are no pony rides.  Luckily, no one in the Aloha House was hurt, and the insurance company's going to cover the damage.  Unluckily, we postponed our trip to Buffalo for a day to attend a holiday weekend neighborhood party complete with a petting zoo and the aforementioned pony rides-- to be held directly in front of the Bungalow-- and then showed up with a cooler-full of brownies and other snacks to share, only to see a small printout notifying everyone the event was canceled.  The kids were disappointed, but Abby and I were totally miffed; we have this thing about not telling the kids about something that could get canceled because a while back it seemed they were being flaked out on a lot, and this was yet another case of cancellation without good reason.  It seriously took us about a half an hour to realize that the power was out everywhere, and another 15 minutes or so to realize that all of my complaining texts I had sent to my parents were still sitting in my BlackBerry inbox, since the cell service was also out.  Oops... I guess that'd explain why no email went out to notify about the cancellation, huh?  And while we were able to pick up and drive up to Buffalo, our new neighbors suffered through 104-degree weather for the next five days without getting their power back.  We've been so lucky in DC, having almost never gone without power in a region infamous for power outages, that it scares me a bit to go into this area's "reality zone" as pertains to Pepco, the evil power company...

Finally: Bonnie wrote to me and congratulated me for getting through to someone at CSX regarding the fencing issue, since I guess they've been trying to do so for years.  But she also told me the land over there is actually not HOA land, so it might be a bit harder for the plan to go through.  Either way, I'm still gonna try, although I haven't yet had a moment to write anything formal to the HOA letting them know my idea.  (That said, I think a couple of people on the HOA Board read this blog, so...)  Regardless, even though we may have to include Alexander Company (the developer) in the discussion now, all the interested parties are still likely to be receptive to the barrier idea.  It's just going to take a bit more legwork.

So that's it for now.  I promise to upload a bunch of pics this weekend for those of you interested in seeing how the first floor is shaping up, because it's really getting to the point where you don't need imagination anymore.  And I've been told by several of you that until we get to that point, all the explanation in the world isn't going to allow them to have a good picture in their heads of what everything will look like when it's done, so this should make you all happy.  For now, though, good night!

1 comment:

  1. I live in the apartments at NPS, and I love watching the changes to the bungalow! I came across your blog one day while Google-ing about the Spanish Mission (we had done the walking tour, and they mentioned it was in foreclosure, so I was curious to see if it was listed).

    I walk/drive by the bungalow on a daily basis and am so excited every time I see a new change! And I'm surprised when you talk about how much space there is inside! Must be bigger than it looks!

    How cool for your kids to get to grow up in and around so much history! Thanks so much for your updates! I know you started the blog for friends and family, but as your neighbor who gets to see the changes on a daily basis, it's pretty awesome :)

    Best of luck! Keep the updates coming!

    (ps. I was also sad about the cancellation of the ice cream social/pony rides. My 9-month-old son was pumped up for it :) and the power outage wasn't too fun either :)