31 December, 2010

Hello, insulation. I've missed you.

Our landlords have been advertising our cottage online at daft.ie, which is more or less the place to go when you're looking for somewhere to live in Ireland. Well that, and boards.ie... but i digress.

We've been playing text/e-mail tag with each other for the last week trying to nail down a time for their prospective renters to come look at the place. Apparently they've had a "good response". That's what a bit of good writing'll get ya!
After we informed them of a hole in our ceiling, and that we taped up the windows to prevent drafts, they decided that they want to come to see exactly what the hell we've been doing with the place. haha no, they didn't actually say those words... damn it. 

V and i have been deep cleaning the place partially because he's off work until Jan 3 and partially because we're moving, but mostly because strangers are coming into our home. Honestly, i'm not too sure how i feel about it... i can only hope that what i see as "valuables" will not be valuable to the people who will be traipsing about our cottage (dare i say, home?) and when we return, that everything will be in its place. 

They came over tonight and basically "approved" the cottage as viewable. I honestly wish i had the ability to record the whole conversation to play it for you... but that's sadly, impossible. Parts of it had me so fired up, and parts had me laughing...
They questioned the plausibility that water was dripping through our ceiling above the kitchen from the bathroom, even though they said it happened to them while they lived here. They tried to blame it on the sink that i cracked* but i definitely cut him off,
"No, you're right, the sink doesn't hold water. BUT it only begins dripping if you fill it to a certain point. It's fine just running water for things like brushing your teeth. We never fill it for this reason."
There's just no arguing with him though. He kept pushing it. 
V reminded him that the ceiling was leaking before the sink was cracked and we brought it to his attention the first time we noticed! This might have been the 3rd or 4th shower we took in the cottage! So back in January 2010! Almost a year ago!
Is it my fault that their negligence to fix the leak is causing damage? No. Will they try to blame us? Yes.
Also, i should mention that no, it's not an actual water leak - as in pipe damage. The leak comes from the bathtub. It was installed at a very slight angle so that when we shower, a small bit of water trickles over the edge and onto the floor despite our best efforts. The floor is rotten because of years of this happening! They didn't seem too concerned about it a year ago, and told us to "just be careful" when taking showers. 
Well, care can only get you so far. Inevitably, water will run off of a slanted surface, yes? Yes. Damn it Newton and your gravity ramblings!
The landlord was only happy after he had the last word on the matter and determined it must be a bit of both the tub AND the sink leaking. GRRRRR!!!

They were surprised to see our bed downstairs and literally called us "pussies" "softies". They laughed at us and stated "You're from Poland [V], and you're from Alaska [S]." in that 'neener neener' voice that the asshole bully in elementary school used to use. Hello? We are from places that are cold, yes, that's very observant of you. But because of this, we have also grown up knowing how to stay warm and what measures to take to do so... which is why our BED IS DOWNSTAIRS next to the fire. 
It was like they were disappointed to know that we don't use the upstairs anymore unless we have to. They even said something like, "Well, we lived in this cottage and we were never cold." I wanted to say that it was because they're cold-hearted, but that's not very nice.

Anyway. Back to the impending "visit" tomorrow.
Where will we be during the prospectives' visit?  SIGNING PAPERS on our NEW PLACE!!! Wanna see?

It's a townhome in an estate, but:
  • the landlords are nowhere near us
  • we have a fenced in (private!) backyard
  • there is nice insulation
  • we'll be living just next to our friends Paweł and Karina
  • no longer will we have to share laundry facilities and we can choose to use the dryer at our own leisure
  • plenty of room for guests to visit us (hint, hint, everyone)
  • V will have the opportunity to carpool to work, leaving me the car during days
and about a million and a half other wonderful things... Plus, did you SEE the kitchen?! Hehehe. We're pretty excited. Yay for modern conveniences. Actual ones.

These photos are just the ones from the ad, and really do no justice to the beauty of our new place, but i will be sure to share some photos in the upcoming two weeks (!!!!) leading up to and after our move, so you'll see plenty of it, i'm sure.

Want to know something ELSE that's exciting that's happening tomorrow?
i'll give you a hint:


* i cracked the sink back in July before we went to Poland. Actually, the sink was pretty cracked when we moved in, however, it was watertight. I dropped a mirror into the sink (a SMALL mirror!!) and cracked it along its original crack lines - ALL the way through the porcelain, making it no longer watertight. Either the same day or the day after, i went over to chat with them about it. I started out by saying, "remember the cracks in the sink in the bathroom?" to which they replied, "yeah, it was pretty bad and needed replaced but we keep putting it off...". I told them what happened and they didn't seem too surprised. I suppose something like that would happen. It didn't have to be a mirror. It could have been anything, really. A curling iron. A bottle of shampoo...  Anything with a little weight to it could have done that dang sink in.  At any rate, it's not like it GUSHES out. It's a very slight trickle at best.

27 December, 2010

Making Merriment

Nothing says "Christmas" like a dead battery. Nothing says "Christmas" better than TWO dead batteries. Even better?! THREE! hahaha
That's right. In the cold of our Christmas week, the battery in our car needed to be jumped THREE times. Once, our neighbor (who oddly, used to be friends with our landlords), another time, our kind friend Piotr came (he's in the photo above), and on CHRISTMAS DAY, our friend Paweł came to our rescue. Friends are wonderful.

Also because of the frosty weather, our water pipes froze and we were without plumbing for 3 days (guess which three!) but we got water back in the wee hours of this morning. It was both a shock and a welcome surprise to wake up to the sound of running water in our sink at 4:25am! We are also very glad to be able to flush our toilet (we'd been hauling water in and putting it in the back tank once our waste had built up "enough"... gross) and take SHOWERS in our own home. We went to our friends' house to shower the day before Christmas and we were very happy to feel clean.

We had a lovely Christmas feast in the Polish tradition. On Christmas Eve, we had Polish Barszcz (beet root soup) with homemade uszka (dumplings):
and we had a fruity compote to drink. Yum!
Our second coarse was broiled salmon with yummy, yummy potato cakes:

We started cooking the Bigos, however, we started cooking on Thursday in order for it to be ready for Christmas day.

It slow cooked on the wood stove all day Thursday and Friday, sat in the cold Friday evening, and was warmed up and ready to eat on Saturday. It. Was. SO. good.

We moved our dining table over to the opposite wall of this photo and put our work station on it (so it's covered in computers and things related to our "office") when we moved the bed downstairs, so we had to use our coffee table as our eating surface. It was fine though, and was sorta fun to sit on the floor together to eat.

On Christmas Day, we were invited to spend the evening with our friends (Paweł and Karina) for more food and merriment. It was fun to go there to chat and enjoy each others' company. All in all it was a great Christmas and we feel very blessed.

20 December, 2010

i give up... for now.

dang it. this RAK thing just didn't work out for me, did it? sigh. i'm not afraid to admit when i'm defeated.

It's not that doing nice things for others was hard - it's that getting out and finding others to be randomly kind to was hard. I didn't want to limit myself to finding a facebook person to be kind to... it seemed too easy. SO i will put this project on the back burner until after we move and i'm a little closer to a village or town.


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