Saturday, June 29, 2013

Piano Dollies Save Lives

After viewing the piano at the Craigslist seller’s house...

TMF, “How are we going to move this thing?”
BF, pointing out my inability to move furniture, “We?”
TMF, “Okay, you.  How are you going to move the piano?”
BF, “I’ll ask AB at work.”
BF has a coworker friend, AB, who has moved many pianos in the past. As soon as we drive away from the house, BF calls AB...

BF, “Hey man, can you help me move a piano?”
AB, “Sure. Do you have a piano dolly?”
Long pause...
BF, “Uh...I’ll look into it.”
AB, “Yeah, piano dollies save lives."
Neither BF nor I had ever heard of a piano dolly. After a few phone calls, BF sent me to a local DIY rental store to pick one up. I stared at the two dolly pieces and was confused as to how it was going to work. Then I reminded myself of my complete lack of engineering skills.  I didn’t quite understand what AB meant, but I figured he knew what he was talking about.

I am so thankful for friends and family who will help move furniture and heavy miscellaneous items.  As I explained in the past, I have an undiagnosed disability when it comes to lifting and moving. AB gladly volunteered to help with my inadequacies.
When we arrived at the Craigslist seller’s house for the second time, BF and AB were prepared to quickly move the piano. The two dolly sections fit snuggly on each side of the piano.  Ratchet straps were used to secure the piano to the dolly and to the enclosed trailer. I was amazed. The whole process took less than 15 minutes.
TMF, “Oh! That’s how pianos are moved! Those dollies are neat.”
AB, “Yup, piano dollies save lives.”
TMF, “How did you know about these things?”
AB, “It only took one time and I thought to myself, ‘There has GOT to be an easier way.’ “
TMF, “They’re pretty awesome.”
AB, “Like I said, piano dollies save lives.”
I could sense BF rolling his eyes and shaking his head, but I didn’t care.

Friday, June 28, 2013

I Got Straps

Growing up, BF and I were both very fortunate to be exposed to musical instruments. He played the acoustic and bass guitar and I played the piano. I'm not sure if my parents dreamt I would become a child virtuoso but they gladly paid for lessons and drove me around town to meet my instructors.

Due to my horrible hand-eye coordination and ehh first teacher, I wasn't very good at playing the piano. Looking back at my lessons, I realized I used muscle memory to get by. But as an adult, I decided I wanted to continue learning by taking lessons again.

After a few weeks of searching for a cheap piano on Craigslist, I found the winner. It's nothing fancy, but I'm not really picky. It's a little dusty, with some scratches, a few keys stick to each other and the damper pedal doesn't work, but I don't care.
Craigslist ad
BF secured an enclosed trailer and we arrived at the Craigslist seller's house, ready to move a piano. When BF opened the trailer door, I gaped at the two ratchet straps he brought along.

TMF, "You only brought TWO ratchet straps to move the piano?!?!"
BF, "What? What do you mean?"
TMF, "You're only going to use those two straps to secure that piano?"
BF, "What's wrong with those?"
TMF, "Are those enough?"
BF, "Oh please."

After speaking to the seller for a few moments, I returned to BF and AB, his coworker friend, quickly securing and moving the piano on the dolly.

TMF, "Oh, you DID bring more straps!"
BF, "Don't you worry, I got straps."
TMF, "Really?"
BF, "I got straps you don't even know about!" 

BF, "I got straps & straps and more straps."
TMF, "Why didn't you just answer me the first time I asked?"
BF, "Where's the fun in that? I got straps."

He loves to ruffle my feathers to the point where I want to punch his arm and kick his shins.

When we arrived at the house, BF backed the trailer to the front door.  He pushed while I steered and together we placed the piano in its new home.  

I am extremely tickled with the piano and I think BF is too. As soon as it was in place, he demanded I grab the bench from the back seat, so we could sit and play. Next thing I knew, we were playing Heart & Soul.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Old-School Door Bell

When much of the demolition and debris removal occurred, the doorbell box became a casualty of the battle against grossness.  We haven't received many visitors during the past year, so it wasn't a huge concern. I figure if a guest really wants to come inside the house, they'll do it in the old-fashioned way and knock.  
I can't remember what inspired BF to pick out this doorbell, but I think it's absolutely charming.  It reminds me of an old school bell.  Forget those fancy, programmable doorbells that chime.

Please ignore the Christmas pine cone decorating the hallway sconce. I realized I forgot to pack it inside the Christmas plastic storage tubs after they were put away. I refuse to take down the pine cone and put it in a place where "I'll remember." 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From Dark & Creepy to Light & Inviting

BF and I have been in a slump. I’m not sure if it’s due to hectic work days, my lack of being handy or the lack of funds, but the renovation progress has slowly dwindled.  For the past few months we have been saving for the next big project. After a few conversations, we decided the next step is to paint the house. 

This is a huge step because it’s a big commitment to color. Once that paint is sprayed on, it's staying on. There's no going back.
Google Earth's current but outdated street view of the house
Although I love the big oak trees, the house can disappear in the shadows. It can appear downright scary and creepy in the evenings. On Halloween night, BF and I sat on the brightly lit front porch with the good intentions of meeting neighbors and handing out the “good” candy. Not a single trick-or-treater came near the house.  I assume the conversation went like this:

Mini Iron Man, “I wonder if that house has good candy.”
Little Captain America, “I dare you to walk up to the front door.”

Mini Iron Man, “No way!  That house is scary!”
Little Captain America, “I double dare you.”

Mini Iron Man, “No way!  I wouldn’t go there if they had full-size candy bars.”
Little Captain America, “I would triple-dog dare you, but that would be wrong.”

We want to morph from dark & scary to light & inviting. The new color is going to be a pale yellow.  I visited Lowes paint department and grabbed every available pale yellow paint chip.

All the yellows started to look the same to me. I was probably cross-eyed when I threw the paint chips on the dining table and asked for BF's help. It took him less than three minutes to narrow down to three options. Don't get me started on the insane number of shades of white. Picking the white for the exterior trim took BF less than two minutes. Stay tuned to see the results!