Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I recently got our energy bill for the period covering the recent cold snap: $500! Granted that was some record-setting weather but still… $500! Ouch. I’m still in shock. Or perhaps I should say I’m floored. Some of my friends assumed this high bill was indicative of high energy costs here in Southeast Louisiana. I […]

Fumigation Days

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

The fumigation we’d originally planned for early December has finally been accomplished, and I must say despite the hassle that it’s better to complete than to abort. All living things have to be removed from the house prior to fumigation, and relocated elsewhere for approximately 48 hours. (Actually that’s not true; indeed, the whole point […]

Well, Crap

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Overnight New Orleans got pounded by heavy, heavy rain for several hours. Also some serious gusts. We lost power for a while during the night and there was of course some street flooding throughout the city. The weather has caused our fumigation to be postponed. They were set to tent the house this morning, but […]


Saturday, November 28th, 2009

We are still unpacking. Many thanks (again) to my mother-in-law for her painstakingly accurate labels. But three weeks after the move, we are down to just eight boxes. Make that seven boxes. I just unpacked another one.

Five Things I Hate About Our New House

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

No, I’m not feeling particularly grumpy. Quite the opposite. We are settling in and making good progress on unpacking. We’ll close the deal soon and actually I’m pretty happy about the way things have worked out. But I thought I’d just go ahead and get these five points out of the way. The stairs are […]

Three Offers

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

After a couple weeks of little to no activity, we got three offers on our house yesterday. There’s a long way to go to actually close the deal, of course. So I’m not throwing any parties, but I can’t deny that my mind is athrob with a steady pulse of excitement. We might just pull […]

House Sellin’ Mix

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Our open house is today, and we hope plenty of prospective buyers will show up. Our old friend Brian Rice recommended that we should have some “soothing, but hip, music playing low in the background.” So here is a mix I call “Soothing but Hip,” eleven tracks of long sweet mellowness, including music by Brian […]

On the Market

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Well, it’s official. Our house is on the market. There’s a “For Sale” sign in front. We’ve been very happy here. It’s hard to think that our home for the last seven years might soon belong to someone else. But here’s hoping. If you’re interested call our Realtor, Shannon Sharpe Briand, at (504) 616-7000. It’s […]

Making an Offer

Monday, August 24th, 2009

We are making an offer on a house today. I don’t want to reveal too many details for fear of jinxing things, so suffice it to say that it’s in Mid-City and we like it a lot. It’s a predicated offer — our purchase of the new house is predicated on the successful sale of our […]

Trading Up

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I’ve put a lot of my heart and soul into our old house. Xy has too. So I thought it would be painful to contemplate moving. I thought I’d agonize over that decision more, weighing the pros and cons. But it really hasn’t been that hard. Once I framed the idea as “trading up,” it […]

A Change of Direction

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

I was surprised to discover this morning that our one-way street had reversed direction overnight. Well, it wasn’t a big surprise really. The city had sent me a letter explaining the plan and polling our opinion, but I never mailed the form back in. After mulling it over a while I thought it might not […]

More Hazards

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I was feeling pretty good yesterday as my remediation work went according to plan. Here’s four photos that show the transition from flaking lead-based paint, through surface prep, priming, and a first coat of paint. Still needs a second coat. I’m pretty sure I did this safely, with no contamination — no lead dust in […]

Back to School

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I’d like to take a moment to salute all the teachers of the world who work so hard for our children. You rock! Today is the first day of classes at Xy’s new school. I took her traditional “first day” photo as she left the house. Not easy holding a toddler in one arm. As […]

A Little Remediation

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Problem: When ACORN did lead-paint remediation on our house, they missed one small area around our front door. The lead-based paint that remains there is a little bit flaky and very dry, so that lead paint dust on the threshold has become a problem. Solution: I’ve been reading up on remediation techniques, and I think […]


Monday, August 3rd, 2009

We got the results of our lead test from last Friday. Check out the complete report (PDF) for all the gory details, but I am going to try to summarize them in plain English. They didn’t find any lead hazards inside the house, but they did find some on the perimeter, in two spots. 1) […]

Lead Poisoning

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Despite our efforts, despite testing our water, despite an extensive lead abatement program conducted on our house by ACORN, we got word yesterday afternoon that our little 17-month-old girl has a high level of lead contamination. How high? BLLs > 13 µg/dL. Translation: blood lead level greater than 13 micrograms per deciliter of blood. Is […]

Range Change

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

So we got a new range to replace our ancient fire hazard. A few gotchas along the way. The old stove was 36″ wide. Most modern stoves are 30″ wide. You can get ‘em in a 36″ size but it’ll cost you. The cheapest 36″ range at Sears was $1700. So we went with 30″ […]

What Luck

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

We’re extremely fortunate that we did not burn down the house last night. Xy had just made a couple trays of her famous pseudo-enchiladas. She had a tray baking in the oven when a strange odor began to permeate the kitchen. It smelled like something burning. Perhaps some food remnant crusted on the bottom of […]

Plumbing Mysteries

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I’ve been perplexed by the behavior of our plumbing system recently.

Something Got Done

Friday, November 21st, 2008

I took the day off yesterday to make some repairs to our deck. Specifically, I replaced three old warped and worn-out boards with new lumber. The amazing thing to me is I actually got it all done. Moreover, all in one day: buying the lumber and the deck screws, removing the old boards, cutting the […]