Greetings from a cool breezy fall day in Iowa.

The last few days have been feeling very fall-like – a reminder that winter is not far away. ¬†Kinda sucks becuase I was just getting good at Summer things ūüôā

First thing – I sat for the “IBM Certified Application Developer Notes and Domino 9.0 Upgrade” test on Thursday and passed it. ¬†It was a nasty little test of 59 questions to take and I’m glad to be done having to study for it. ¬†A nice addition for my resume – can say I’m certified with IBM Notes versions 5, 6, 7, 8, 8.5 and 9. ¬†Passing this test is also something I listed on my list of goals for the ¬†year at work… ¬†You may notice that the word “Lotus” is not listed in the test title – as in “Lotus Notes”. ¬†IBM has finally dropped “Lotus” from all of it’s collaboration products…

Old branding:

New branding:

Spent last weekend preparing the apartment for the flooring guys. ¬†I went over most of the baseboard trim with Murphys’s Oil Soap and water. ¬†Then applied stain on it using an old sock. ¬†Was tedious because I didn’t want to get any stain on the freshly painted walls. ¬†It helped to even out the finish/imperfections and it looks much better now.

On Monday the Thielen Brothers Flooring spent all day installing the vinyl flooring in kitchen, bath and utility room.  Then they installed new padding and carpeting in the remainder.  Was impressed they were able to complete it in one day since they had to install new tack strip in all of the rooms Р I had removed all of the old because it was really nasty.

We were then able to put the appliances in place and do lots of final cleaning.  For the last few evenings I have been cleaning up dry wall and saw dust from cabinets and appliances.  Have also removed specks of paint from windows, mirrored closet doors and trim.  The black appliances look nice but they are a bit of a dust magnet.  Went through three large rolls of paper towels and a half a bottle of windex in the process of getting everything nice and clean.

John worked on installing new mirror above the sink and a toilet in the bathroom and I did a full scrub down of the bathtub.  Used several Mr Clean Magic Erasers and they worked like a charm.  Also found that Zep Commerical All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser did a great job of cutting through the layers of scum embedded on the sides of the tub.  Was really gross to see gobs of brown goo going down the drain when the degreaser was used.  Now the tub/shower sparkle.

Tonight we have our first showing – without even having our “For Rent” sign up or advertising on Craigslist. ¬†It was automatically added to several apartment hunting web sites when we updated our Buildium Property Management account. ¬†Hope that is a good sign. ¬†We are asking $725 for the apartment – a good deal considering it has new kitchen and bathroom, en-suite washer/dryer, central air conditioning and heating. ¬†Many apartment complexes around us have electric baseboard heat and window air conditioning units installed in the wall. ¬†Both tend to be more expensive to operate then the central ones. ¬†Do I sound like a landlord yet?

Anyway here’s some pictures from the past few days:

IMG_5176.JPG IMG_4909.jpg IMG_5199.jpg IMG_4913.jpg


We still have a few minor things to attend to – we discovered the washing machine that was used by the previous tenants is no longer working. ¬†It appears the clutch is all messed up and the agitator does not move and etc. ¬†Called Jim’s Appliance and they are going to deliver another one tomorrow morning (Saturday) and take the old one away for $200.00. ¬†Not sure if we broke it by moving it around during renovations or if it was broken by the previous tenants.

Anyway – it will be nice to be done with renovations and back to “normal”. ¬†Tomorrow I’m going to volunteer at the Animal Rescue League for a few hours and then head to ice skating lessons at 2:00pm. ¬†Hoping to get down how to do a 3-point turn. ¬†I see quite a few adult skaters get stuck at the level I’m at and not progress much further. ¬†I’m hoping this does not occur to me. ¬†It is encouraging that this is just the start of winter ice skating lessons.

¬†I’m off to watch Project Runway on the DVR – have not seen this week’s episode yet….

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