***

There were several days when the overnight temperature fell below 60F, and finally, my apartment was cold enough for a heater to kick in. It happened during the night, and in the morning, I smelled a hint of burning oil, just a little bit. It felt like the house was surprised to receive a command from the Ecobee to turn the heat on:)


I really-really-REALLY love my condo! It feels so good to come back home. I love every little thing about it; yes, there are still a couple of minor things with light fixtures, which still have to be resolved, and the parts don’t come due to the worldwide production crisis. But they are so minor that I can live with them :).

Funny Thing Happened Today

When I opened my apartment door and stepped into the kitchen, I could tell right away that it is warm. The past several days were incredibly hot, and each time I stepped inside my apartment, I felt the coolness. Toda, however, I could tell that the temperature in the apartment is the same as outside.

I had a thousand thoughts right away. I thought: I just told a number of people that the severe weather didn’t damage anything in my apartment! And that I didn’t have a power outage. And that I thought I wouldn’t need to replace an air conditioner before spring. And which repair service should I call? 

I was already counting my losses of time and money when I felt that it is starting to cool down. I checked the thermostat – the temperature was indeed coming down!

It was only then that I realized that today was the first day in two weeks that I came home before the time the air conditioner thinks I should be home and starts to cool the apartment!

I immediately remembered what my neighbor said the other day. I asked him where he was – I haven’t seen him for the whole week. He replied with the question: where have you being for the whole week?

  • I was working!
  • See – that’s what I mean: you should be at home more!

I guess, he is right!

All Done With My Old House!

Yesterday, I finally closed on my old house. Selling the house was a surprisingly traumatic experience, especially surprising with the housing market’s current state. The last two weeks were the most stressful. I was waiting to hear from the attorney when I should come to their office to sign the papers (these days, because of COVID, the seller is asked not to be present at the closing). Instead, I received a letter about an extension of the house contingency because the buyer’s loan was still not approved – they were still waiting for some papers.

My closing was scheduled for July 30, and on Jul 20, I received a notice about this extension till Jul 28! There is no need to describe how I felt all these days. And then, all of a sudden, the attorney’s office called me on the 28th and said – we are closing tomorrow!

I didn’t even have a driver’s license with me! And I could not go to Cumberland in the middle of the day. They sent me a mobile notary (who forgot about the driver’s license :)), then I had to email a copy :), and then at 5-30 PM, my agent called me and asked where the garage remote is. I replied that it is at the same place as all the keys – in my house because my agent didn’t want to take them earlier… They sent an associate to pick up the keys the next morning, and fortunately, Igor was able to come to my house and hand the keys.

The next day (on Thursday), the attorney’s office kept calling me because something still didn’t work, like they could not reach my bank and my mortgage company, I just lost track of it. It was only at 4 PM that I was notified that all is done!

The next step will be refinancing (I already started the process), and then, I guess – the next round of repairs and replacements 🙂

The Screen Door

I hate when something is hanging out there not completed. I need all the boxes being checked (probably that’s why I like to-do lists so much:)). That’s why during the week when Boris was here, we tried to fix as many things as possible.

I already mentioned that when I bought the house, I didn’t realize that the storm door on the balcony is missing. I only noticed it when the weather became warmer, and people started to keep their balcony doors open. There were some pieces of hardware from the old door still attached, but we could not figure out how to find a matching screen door.

I talked to my next-door neighbor, and he told me that I should not try to match the existing hardware. I need to remove all that’s left from the old door and measure what size I need. And the new door will come with new hardware.

So I measured, and then I asked Boris to look for the door on Lower’s website. He told me that I must have measured wrong because a 33-inch size does not exist; the door can be 32 or 36 inches wide. I believed him and ordered the 32-inch door. Why did I not measure one more time? Because it was July 4, and I was using this weekend to catch -up with my two jobs :).

Lowe’s scheduled delivery for July 5, which was great because it was still a weekend. But then they moved the delivery time three times, and at 4-30 PM they called me and said that they wouldn’t make it. It was a pain to reschedule, especially because I had to be in the office (in two offices!) every day. Long story short, the door was finally delivered.

We needed to complete many projects while Boris was here, so we only got to the door installation on Tuesday. We studied the manual and figured out lots of things, and finally, Boris installed the door, only to realize that it was two inches smaller than we needed!

We had to uninstall it and throw it away (because nobody in the building could use the wrong size door!), and then I ordered the right size, miraculously delivered the next day!

So I have a screen door, after all! (Yea, we need to seal it…)
Can you imagine how good it feels?!

No TV?!

Another long-overdue thing was finding a way to mount the large monitor I am using instead of the TV. I do not have any TV services for many years, nor do I do Netflix or anything like that. It does not mean I am not enjoying the movies, but it is always a special occasion. I either go to the movie theater to watch something extra special or rent something online and watch (by myself or with somebody).

Still, I need a large monitor to watch movies with somebody. In my old house, I put a large monitor where my old TV set used to be. I could not find a similarly situated place in my new house; besides, I didn’t want a large thing that I do not often use to occupy a significant space and to on the view at all times.

Boris suggested a rolling TV cart, but Vlad rejected it, saying that it won’t help – I will still need to store it “somewhere”. Boris backed up and suggested another desk mount (the one I had could not hold the weight of the monitor). He chose a model, but it arrived after he left. When Anna & family visited last time, I asked them to attach a monitor, but it turned out that this desk mount could not be attached because of the shape of the monitor.

I started to look again, but I could not find any other model high enough and hold the weight. Finally, I decided to change the course and started to look for the TV mount. That is, after two months of search, I was back to Boris’s original idea. Funny story – it turned out that although the attachment was “universal,” it still didn’t work with the shape of this monitor! The only way we made it work was to shift the position of the mounting brackets, so now they stick up like two horns :). But the whole thing works beautifully! The stand has wheels, and in normal position, it stands behind my desk occupying zero extra space. It can be easily pulled forward, and then people sitting in the living room can watch. Or it can be pulled to the sunroom, where there are more electric outlets there, and there is a shelf for a laptop. I can even roll it into the dining room!

Yes, and as for the title of this post… As I said, I do not have television for years, if not decades, but since in my old house there was a large object sitting where people would expect to have a TV set, nobody asked this question, And at my new place, the first thing most people would ask is “Where is your TV?” or just “And no TV?!”

🙂 🙂 🙂

Keeping Fixing Everything

While Boris is here, we are trying to complete tons of house projects with intermittent success. One of the happiest things for me was that Boris installed the remaining rolling blinds in the sunroom.

Schaumburg IKEA didn’t have the right size and color, and I needed six of them! At some point, I saw on their website that they have four, but since there were only four, they were not selling them online. That was at the end of May when Vlad and Dylon were still here. When Dylon took me to Schaumburg Toyota to sell my car, I asked him to stop at IKEA, and I bought these four grey blinds. I still needed two more, but they were nowhere to find. Finally, when I started to see the “last chance” notice by all blinds of that model, I decided to purchase two green ones. It ended up being not bad at all, and now I have this huge relief of one more thing being fixed!

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Or How I Donated a Mirror

I had a small gym in my Palatine home, and in it, I had a wall mirror from IKEA, which consisted of twelve separate pieces. You might remember my previous pictures from there.

Since I already knew I would have a gym in the new building, I gave away a lot of equipment, but there were several pieces I wanted to bring with me to the new building. Among these items, there were a wall clock and a mirror. You won’t usually think of them as gym equipment, but you notice when they are not present.

I asked the association whether I can install both on them on the gym wall (I was not sure whether I am allowed to make holes in the walls :)). They replied that they would ask a maintenance person who was in charge of these things. The wall clock was easy to install, and also I needed it, so I installed it myself. As for the mirror, it required multiple holes, and I thought that it should be installed by a professional.

A very long email chain followed. Periodically, I asked “where we are” and when the morrow will be installed. I placed the parts and the hardware by the TV so that they would be visible. Twice, I was told “the next week,” and I had to ask again in a week. Finally, I was told that the mirror was installed and that the maintenance person” won’t charge for it.” I went to the gym to check it out.

You won’t believe what I found out!!!

There was a small mirror that somebody brought in a long time before I moved in, and this mirror was standing by a wall. And that was the mirror he installed!!!

I laughed, took the pictures, and emailed the board :).

Finally, ten days later, the correct mirror was installed!

One More Step Toward Normalcy :)

Although I am absolutely happy at my new place, the move itself was quite disastrous, and even a month after I moved there were still numerous problems not fixed. Moreover, the moment one thing got fixed, another would break (just remember my air conditioning story!)

But recently, the havoc retreated, and multiple things got back to normal or were resolved.

Accepting the offer on my old house was one of these things (although I didn’t close yet). Finally starting my new job is another one. The fact that Etsy returned me money when one of the sellers didn’t ship the shelves to me was another nice and almost unexpected thing.

Saturday was the day of major progress: I finally (almost) resolved my ceiling fans problems.

Among many things which were wrong with this condo were the ceiling fans, none of which were fully operational. It was especially frustrating because they are expensive light fixtures of excellent quality, but I didn’t have either remotes or users’ manuals. In three places, the fans were not working. In the living room and the guest bedroom, the fans were moving, but the lights were not turning on.

Both Vlad and John tried to address the problem, and Vlad even sent me a link to purchase a remote, but neither he nor John could connect this remote to any of the lights. I knew I needed to find a proper electrician, but things were piling up, and I just didn’t have time to start solving this problem.

Finally, I made an effort and went to the NextDoor to search for posts about electricians. Soon I found a person who had a problem similar to mine and was looking for an electrician two months ago. I messaged them and asked whether any of the contractors who were recommended to them worked. I added that everybody tells me good electricians are hard to find.

That was it! Immediately, several people replied to me with, “there are good electricians in Rogers Park!”
The one I hired promptly suggested that he come on Saturday (I couldn’t stay at home during the week of job changing).

After a little bit over an hour, the living room light/fan was working. The guest bedroom fixture could be operated with the new remote. We also discussed the plan to fix the rest of the fans and to get new remotes. Oh, and we also talked about Universal Health Care and Berni Sanders :). So it’s all close to eternal happiness :).

… Can you imagine the joy of being able to turn the lights on?!

The Dining Room

On Sunday, I assembled the last two IKEA storage units in the dining room, moved to the guest bedroom the units which were there temporarily, and finally put all the things at their designated locations. Also, back on Friday, John and Anna took a bookshelf that I didn’t need anymore to my mom’s house. That way, finally, the last room in my new house started to look like I wanted it to look.

And you know what? I felt pretty depressed for a while, and every day, I told Boris that I am not sure what’s the primary cause of that: is it the old house, the job situation, or something else. And the moment I cleared the dining room, I realized that my primary source of depression is gone!

Another Rant About Things Falling Apart

Although I found an emergency AC service on Friday, I could not get anybody to come out right away. The service I got connected to told me they could come on Saturday around 11 AM. I said – sure, but later I realized that we would be at Aquarium and texted them asking to come after 3 PM. In fact, we were back by 1 PM, and then the AC people only came at 3-30PM, while we could not go anywhere. I am happy that the AC was fixed, but we lost all this afternoon time – we didn’t go to the beach one more time or to the playground. The actual repair also took a long time. I knew that this AC unit was old, and I know that I will need to replace it in spring, but I want the old unit to last through the season.

The issue was the same as last time – the leakage. They patched the tubes like how the bike’s inner tubes are patched; only it cost way more!

The 11 feet ceilings and the powerful fans helped us survive the night, but it was still not fun to be at home without AC with 84F outside. It’s so frustrating that I already had HVAC failures multiple times within just five weeks since I moved!