“Roughing It” on Gingerbread Lane

The Gingerbread Diaries

It started out as a joke, that we were going to “camp out” at the new house. Turned out to be a more accurate description that we expected. After all, we had lights, water, Internet access, and all that important stuff, right?


The first Friday night we spent up there (2 weeks ago), I dragged a car-load of gear with me: an air mattress, compressor, linens, pillows, a folding table and chairs, bath towels, and even the shower curtain from the hall bath in our current rental. If I could have reached it, I would have brought my camping cot, too, to serve as a makeshift sofa, but Todd had already brought the big ladder up to Thomasville. Furnishings might have been sparse, but we had more than the average hotel room in other respects, so it all evens out.

Wine but no wine glasses--obviously I didn't think that one through 100%

Wine but no wine glasses–obviously I didn’t think that one through 100%

Before we ate supper (Burgundy Beef in the slow cooker, that I’d also brought up from home) we headed off to Lowe’s to pick up lightbulbs, a thermocouple for the hot water heater (the pilot wasn’t wanting to light, and that’s the most common fix for it), a new toilet seat (no amount of bleach was getting the old one clean), new door knobs/locks, and other odds and ends.

We discovered a few things, that evening:

  • There’s a small leak in the downstairs bath, coming from the roof–we know it’s not a plumbing issue as the water was still turned off. At least this will be addressed when the contractor gets started.
  • Speaking of water, there’s a busted pipe under the water heater/laundry room area (more on that in a bit).
  • All of the downstairs faucets exist in some sort of leaking state.
  • The plaster and lathe walls, thanks to the metal mesh that provides their structure, impede wifi signal–between the router in the living room (temporary location) and the dining room (across the hall and one room back) the signal went from fabulous to almost nonexistent; we’ll work on that!

The burst pipe was, of course, the most pressing issue and not something we could easily remedy at 9pm, in the drizzly rain. So we went from “roughing it” to near-primitive camping pretty quick! Thankfully we’d picked up a 5-gallon bucket at Lowe’s, and that (filled before we shut off the water to the house) allowed us to manually refill the tank of the commode, so at least there was that. Everything else we used bottled water for (I’d brought up a case, figuring it’d be a good idea and I didn’t know how city water was up there.)

Those finials at the ends of the pin--swoon!

Those finials at the ends of the pin–swoon!

It wasn’t all bad, though! We found out most of the downstairs doors have these awesome hinges on them, which will look amazing once I get the paint, etc. off the metal. Plus the weather was nice and cool, even if drizzly, so the 5K walk we participated in on Saturday morning was relatively comfortable. The 10K run that went by our house the following weekend would not have been so cozy!

I feel like this picture needs a hazmat warning! Years of build-up *shudder* but it's gone now!

I feel like this picture needs a hazmat warning! Years of build-up *shudder* but it’s gone now!

At any rate, my plans to start cleaning the house were a bit hindered by the lack of hot running water. I managed to get most of the crud off the bannister using bottled water and Magic Erasers before we headed back to Tallahassee.

Weekend #2 started off with far less surprises, at least of the negative kind. The Rose Festival Parade was Friday night so we walked down to the parade route, then decided to scope out the downtown Chinese place (gotta find your basics, right?). Hun Yip won’t be our go-to spot for take-out, turns out, but we’ve got a few more options to check out. We came out of dinner to find the dance party in full swing at the intersection of Jackson and Broad, stayed for the live band and then the fireworks before walking back home. It was all very Stars Hollow and I love that we’ll be able to walk downtown for a dinner out (there are so many lovely restaurants in the area) once we get truly settled in!

(For pictures of the parade, etc., check out this Facebook album.)

Saturday was the day, though! We (read as: Todd) was going to fix the pipe, repair the leaking faucets, and once and for all get the water heater’s pilot light lit! Since there wasn’t much I could do until all of that was done, I decided this was as good a time as any to start making some videos to go along with these posts! I still need to work on my editing skills, etc. but it’s not a bad start.

(Direct link for the feed readers: Gingerbread Diaries 1.1: Bread and Pipes)

I also filmed the faucet repairs but I haven’t had time to edit those, yet. I’ll add them to the YouTube playlist when I do, though. (Note to self: the night before you want to post them is not the best time to take a crash course in a new editing software!)

So glad Todd is handy with this sort of thing! Of course, if he weren't we probably wouldn't have bought the Gingerbread Dollhouse in the first place!

So glad Todd is handy with this sort of thing! Of course, if he weren’t we probably wouldn’t have bought the Gingerbread Dollhouse in the first place!

I didn’t film the hot water heater repair as it was supposed to be a simple fix. Todd described it as a 2, going in, but after an hour declared it more of an 8.5! Basic rule of thumb, everything takes longer than expected, but he eventually got everything put back into place and, yes, the pilot light finally lit! By that point it was creeping into early afternoon and Todd had some errands to run in Tallahassee, so we packed up and headed back to our other home.

We still have some issues to work out with the bathroom faucet (they don’t leak, but they also have next to no water pressure, meanwhile the tub spout flows with no problem), but at least we can leave the water main on and the major leak is fixed. Hopefully this means hot water will be in good supply for next weekends clean-a-thon!

Until next time!