Climate controlled storage

We’ve been in Houston less than two months and have been counting the days until we move again, although we haven’t a clue when, exactly, that will be. In the meantime, we are doing our best living in climate controlled storage.

Our house, built around 1967 – 1968, has many of the same déjà-vu-not-again-been-there-done-that issues our previous Houston home had: a never ending deluge of tree debris caused by an over-planted yard, lack of electrical outlets, old plumbing, no insulation, closed off kitchen, tiny windows, single pane windows, aluminum windows, fixed windows, and latex paint on all the shelves, causing everything you set on them to stick.

We just keep reminding ourselves that it’s FIVE MINUTES to work and it’s TEMPORARY until we move into our new home.

On the plus side, I went six weeks without visiting a gas station, and John went three weeks between tank fills.

Since pictures speak louder than words, here are a few of the more notable quirks we live with in the climate controlled storage unit we currently call home:

We were lucky to be able to squeeze our washer and dryer into the utility room, given the half-inch clearance between the back door and the edge of the dryer.

house1

We also wonder why the deadbolt knob is missing. If one of us leaves and secures the deadbolt from the outside, the other person is locked in. Brilliant.

The same key operates both door locks plus the lock to the garage door, but it must be inserted teeth up for one and teeth down for two. Brilliant.

Here’s a weird one: the installation of outdoor tile indoors:

house2

This tile appears in the kitchen, foyer, living, dining and utility rooms. It’s uneven, difficult to clean, ugly. You do not pad around on it in your comfy slippers because you will feel every ridge and grout line with every step. It must be some kind of flagstone because large hunks of it periodically flake off.

Then there’s all the flesh-colored tile stuck to the walls, floors and counter tops in the kitchen,

tile1

the bathroom,

tile2

the other bathroom,

tile3

and the utility room.

tile4

Besides the color and texture, the lack of precision in positioning the on-point tiles is bothersome. Instead of aligning the points with a vertical grout line or with the center point of the edge of the square above it, the tile installer went for a wherever-it-ends-up look.

When I thought about it some more, the same formula used to figure out the correct tile size is the same one used to determine the correct size of setting triangles in a quilt. The tile installer must’ve skipped math class that day.

The other feature we still aren’t used to is the inconsistent floor height between the rooms on the first floor. There are seven locations where the difference in the height of the floor between two rooms varies from one-half inch to two inches—making for interesting navigation in the middle of the night….

house3

Back to the bathroom, here’s an epic fixture selection failure:

house4

The positioning of the handle for the best hot water temperature is irrelevant because you have to move it out of the way in order to adjust the handle that activates the shower head. Brilliant.

In the kitchen, I decided the only way to make things work was to keep next to nothing on the counter tops.

house5

I keep the most frequently used small electrics except for the toaster on the otherwise useless counter top opposite the sink.

house6

In the space designated for wine bottles, I inserted plastic wrap, waxed paper, aluminum foil, parchment paper and plastic bag boxes. It looks ridiculous, but it’s within reach and easily accessible. You do what works–even though they all stick to the latex paint.

house7

All the rest of the shelves are lined with paper confiscated from the moving boxes so items don’t stick to the latex paint. Our new house can’t be built fast enough.

The doors to a couple kitchen cabinets don’t open all the way, making it difficult to pull stuff out from way in the back:

house8

Oops…

house9

…or should I say brilliant?

The previous owners did do a few things right in the kitchen:

  1. They installed a sink with a big enough bowl to allow my large roasting pan to sit flat inside while scrubbing it.

house10

  1. They installed a vent hood, something we lacked in our Colorado house—an ongoing frustration for someone who cooks as much as I do.
  2. They installed a tile backsplash (even though it looks pink), something else that wasn’t included in our Colorado home.

In keeping with our lifestyle of the storage unit kind, we’re using the kids’ SpongeBob clothes hamper.

house11

At least he doesn’t seem to mind living in a storage unit.

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