Home Sweet Home (Soon, I Hope)

The movers from Hansen-Smylie arrived at 8:30 a.m. on Monday the 29th, and they finished unloading the truck at 5:00 p.m. The weather granted us a reprieve from rain. The guys who moved us were incredible: hardworking, courteous, funny, and just plain cheerful. They also didn’t break anything.

Alas, with any move there are quirks. In our case, we discovered we have unwanted roommates. I left a spoon on the counter by the sink Monday night – it had slight residue from red beans and rice – only to discover the counter swarming black with hundreds of ants Tuesday morning. I had also unpacked one box of pantry food, including a box of frosted mini-wheat cereal, and they made the journey across the counter edge into the pantry and straight into the box. Argh. The realtor who manages the property is very responsive, so today an exterminator came. He used a product called Phantom and did the entire house, internally and externally; Husband remained at home to let the guy in and called me later after reading the Material Safety Data Sheet (pdf link), and it scared the wits out of him. Technically it’s safe to go in the house two hours after treatment, but due to some medical issues they said I should not enter until 6-8 hours have passed. This means I can’t go home until 8 p.m.

I hope this works; the exterminator said give it seven days, and if we still see ants, to call them again and they’ll have to ask the neighbor (with whom we share a wall) if they can treat his home too. The nest could be there, or it could be as far away as the last townhome in the row. I saw one ant in the pantry after we signed the lease, and yesterday I looked under the sink and saw old ant traps from a previous tenant. (I had a nightmare experience with a carpenter ant infestation in an Austin apartment; after many months of treatments and having them crawl all over my walls, me, and my cat, the management allowed me to move to another apartment in the same complex. I was in grad school, and that was not fun. They had to rip out the doorframe and the wood on the balcony above mine.) We haven’t been able to unpack the kitchen goods yet, so every meal has been eaten out; it’s getting tiresome and expensive. Apparently it’s safe to unpack as of tomorrow, though we need to clean off all spaces that will have food on or nearby.

In addition to the ant problem, there are a few other repair issues with some light switches, and a water spigot needs replacing because it’s corroded, and it’s not safe to drink the water from it. A repairman will fix these, although I don’t know when. We still don’t have Internet connection and probably won’t until late next week; Husband needs to order the service, and they need to send us a gizmo. (I’m behind on email and blog-reading, so catch-up will take awhile.) Tomorrow the cable man will arrive to turn that on; we did miss last Sunday’s episode of Rome as well as Battlestar Galactica. It’s not going to end our world, but we watch only a couple of shows and enjoy them. These small pleasures and routines are missed.

The master bedroom and bath are unpacked completely, with just a few items to hang on the walls. We started unpacking in the loft, hooking up the uber-stereo/television system and the computer home server. There’s a lot more to do. I’ve unpacked over 25 boxes since Monday, and yet I only managed to pack one or two boxes per day before the move. How is it that unpacking goes so much quicker?

Lastly, the cats survived the move with aplomb. It took Stella only two and a half hours to claim the entire place as hers and sprawl in relaxation. Sophie surprised us by adapting after only four hours; usually she hides under the bathroom sink cupboard and hisses for a few days. She, too, now drapes herself over furniture as though she’s lived here forever. Soon the humans will be able to join in.

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5 Comments on “Home Sweet Home (Soon, I Hope)”

  1. Winston Says:

    Those little black boogers can be so persistent! We had an ant contract for several years, but that never deterred them from finding their way to anything left open or out. Finally we cancelled the contract and do the spraying and spreading of granules around the perimeter ourselves. The ant man told us they may come from a colony many hundreds of feet away, working their way toward us underground and not surfacing until they were under our foundation. Hate them! Lotsa luck!

  2. endment Says:

    You have made the biggest step — now to get completely settled in…
    Hope your unwelcome visitors are gone for good and you can enjoy your new home

  3. donna Says:

    OK, now get some clear caulk and SEAL EVERY CRACK YOU CAN FIND. And next time, see if you can see where they are coming in, and seal that.

    We’ve been doing this for years, and now finally, after a kitchen remodel where we sealed all the walls, they almost never get in except one or two strays that come in on the dogs.

    Also, if you have the outside sprayed monthly, you’ll have very few problems inside at all.

  4. donna Says:

    Oh, and get sealed plastic containers for your cereal and dry goods, and NEVER leave food or dishes out until you get them beaten back. If you can’t seal something, put it in the refrigerator!

  5. Cami Says:

    Hi Kathryn,
    First time commenter…Congratulations on your new space! Unfortunately, I think everytime we change places in life there new little “inconveniences” that need either adjusting or eliminating! I’m currently in the middle of a move too (for over a month) and I had the opposite feeling about unpacking – it feels more daunting than the packing. Best wishes settling in.